The Importance of Delegation in Business

by Jack Gesualdi, March 16th, 2015 in CTO

As your business grows from a small business to a small-medium one and so on you will discover how important it is to effectively delegate out work that needs to be accomplished.  At first you may think it is better for you to do certain tasks yourself because you know how to do them best and in the most efficient manner, and you may be worried about someone else doing this.  These are understandable concerns, but what you need to realize is that your time and energy needs to put towards the tasks that help increase business and develop the overall company.  These are the tasks which keep business coming in and allow a company to expand.

Let’s examine various tasks that you can delegate out in order to improve your company.

  • Create a VP if you don’t already have one, or someone who is second in command. Have them be familiar with everything and everyone in the company.  As your company grows you will find yourself having more meetings that take you away from the company or possibly business trips, which means you need someone you can trust to handle the overall leadership and day-to-day activities at the company.
  • Find quality business IT support services that have a plan which works for you. Too many companies make the mistake of spending lots of capital and space in investing in their own servers and all of the baggage that comes with them.  Finding a quality company to outsource your daily IT-support services to will not only cut off the initial capital investment, but also save you from unexpected price spikes during the month.
  • Find a good HR Manager. A good HR manager will have their ear to the ground and will have a strong network which they can look to for finding skilled workers.  It was one thing when your business was small and it was you and maybe a few other people, but now that you’re growing you need someone to handle this for you.  It’s still fine to have them report to you and even drop in for a short interview for potential applicants, but your focus now needs to be directed elsewhere.
  • Struggling to come up with a solution to a problem or trying to improve the business in some way. Don’t let it all fall on your shoulders.  Have others in your company brainstorm with you.  This relieves the pressure of you having to figure it out by yourself and gets workers more involved.

 

Why a Hybrid Cloud May Be the Best Data Center Service

by Jack Gesualdi, February 27th, 2015 in Data Center

 

hybrid cloud concept

Business today involves a challenging cycle: growth fuels not only profits but increased IT needs, and increased IT needs place a heavy demand on your technological infrastructure. Most businesses find that their information storage never quite seems big enough, and rely on a variety of data center services to try to keep the costs down.

One of the most lauded of those data center services is enterprise cloud computing. Put simply, this involves outsourcing all of your server/data storage needs to a cloud-based network so that you are not responsible for the costs of buying, running, and maintaining physical equipment. Cloud computing does live up to its reputation, reducing data storage costs and improving performance—however, in recent years, private cloud computing has become more popular among businesses with more specific needs.

A managed private cloud has extra security features that make it appealing to companies that store sensitive internal or client information. The service also allows for more exact and customized scaling when your business expands. This extra security comes at a somewhat steeper price, though, meaning that you’ll have to carefully consider your budget and the necessity of such service.

Besides, what about the equipment you’ve already bought and paid for? Is eliminating an on-site data center really a cost-effective option when you’ve already invested in it?

Enter hybrid cloud computing. A hybrid cloud strikes a balance between all three options: it utilizes your existing physical infrastructure, a dedicated private cloud, and a public cloud where needed. You can continue to use your current data center or colocation service that you’ve already invested in and know works, while moving some long-term, consistent workloads to a private cloud where you get optimum performance. When you have periodic increases in workload, you can shift these fluidly to a public cloud at low cost or assess booking more private cloud space for long-term scaling. In other words, you can use your existing resources to offset the cost of switching to a managed private cloud, while enjoying all of the flexibility of pure cloud computing. And you never have to buy another piece of equipment again.

Hybrid cloud computing isn’t the only enterprise data center service worth looking at but, for companies that are tired of the cost of scaling their IT needs, it’s an excellent option that blends affordability with performance.

Why You Should Ask Your Data Center Host about Server Virtualization

by Jack Gesualdi, February 4th, 2015 in Data Center, Hosting

Data center hosting plans run the gamut from simple third-party management of systems to an entirely outsourced offsite data center experience. Most companies use services that fall somewhere in between the two, maintaining their own in-house servers but contracting a data center service to host backups or enable cloud computing. Unfortunately, that means that many companies are failing to get everything they can out of their server hardware.

Every company has growing data storage needs, and the cost of adding new servers can be high. Success as a business inevitably means you need to scale your information storage capacity, but you shouldn’t have to pay through the nose to do so. And with a data center hosting company that provides server virtualization, you don’t have to.

Server virtualization allows you to optimize your company’s data storage hardware by creating multiple virtual machines to handle your storage needs. In other words, your information infrastructure doesn’t need to consist of one piece of hardware to one server. Virtual machines do the same job as a physical machine, but several can be hosted per server and a machine’s resources can be passed more fluidly between the different systems that need them.

Virtualizing your data storage has many benefits:

  • Optimal use of network resources – Physical servers are all too commonly set up in a way in which not all of their system resources are needed to manage the tasks they perform. Meanwhile, other servers may struggle with insufficient memory for all the tasks they have to run. The result is a network that wastes badly needed storage space and resources. Virtual machines can spread resources across several servers and assign the right storage capacity to each one, while improving performance at the same time.
  • Fewer new equipment costs – Do you really need to order another machine every time you run up against capacity limits? Not with virtual machines. When you need more capacity, all you have to do is set up a new VM and assign the resources to it that it needs. You can be up and running almost immediately.

image of data center

  • Redundancy – Server virtualization means that a single VM can be run on two physical servers so that one can take up the slack from the other in the event of an outage or resource shortage.

Has your business explored server virtualization as a way to save money and increase performance? Call or contact us at DSS Data Center and ask about virtualization today!

 

4 Signs of a Good Data Center Company

by Jack Gesualdi, December 10th, 2014 in Data Center

As your business grows, sooner or later you will need to seek out a data center company to help you manage your data securely, effectively, and at a good price. But with so many data center companies offering their services, it can be hard to tell which ones will be good partners and which will drop the ball. Here are four signs of a good data center provider:data center company

  1. They don’t just dabble in disaster recovery. Although the name of the game is hosting your data center, a data center company’s main business really comes down to disaster recovery. Simply hosting and running the day to day demands of your network is a relatively simple job that can be handled by any IT team with the right equipment. A good data center company provides much more expertise than that—they will specifically configure your data center solutions so that your company can rapidly and smoothly recover data following a crisis. This involves not just backing everything up in a secure, redundant manner; it includes good protocols for effective, recent backups, and a system for restoring the most important data first.
  2. They understand the advantages of different data center solutions—and recommend the right ones. There are many different approaches data center companies can take. They may offer data center collocation, full data hosting, cloud based hosting, or a simple backup service. All too often, the options a data center recommends is based on what equipment and experience they have, rather than what is best for you as the client. Look for data hosting companies that can offer all of these and will speak about the strengths and weaknesses of each to help you determine the right choice for your specific needs.
  3. They use reliable equipment. Providers will talk endlessly about features of their data center like its cooling plan, its physical security and its cyber defenses. Those factors are important, but you should also look under the hood. What machines do they use? How recent are they? Were they bought new or secondhand? If they sell them off when upgrading, how do they expunge your data?
  4. They offer fluid, scalable pricing. The only constant in a business’s data needs is that nothing is constant. You might only want collocation today but choose to move to the cloud tomorrow; you might have a high usage period this season but need dramatically less server space in a month. Your data center should offer flexible, scalable plans that change with your business.

Distributed Systems Services, Inc. offers all of the above and more. Contact Distributed Systems Services, Inc. for more information at 1.877.289.0395.

When It Comes to Data, What Is a “Disaster”?

by Jack Gesualdi, December 9th, 2014 in Disaster Recovery

Every business leader knows that data center disaster recovery plans are important. But often, the kind of “disaster” you should be preparing against is left vague. The word itself calls to mind storms and tsunamis, but the most common disasters—at least as far as data protection goes—are manmade. Here are four types of disasters that could hit your company:disaster

A Cyber Attack
The most feared kind of disaster in the business world today is that caused by outsiders with malicious intent—also known as hackers. Hackers may initiate a cyber attack against your business for a multitude of reasons. It could be at the behest of a competitor, who seeks to either steal your proprietary data or simply derail your operation. It could be in response to an unpopular decision or news story about your company. Or it could be a simple act of digital vandalism, one which can end up costing you millions. Just this week, Sony was hit by a hack attack with the goal of extorting money. Most data center disaster recovery plans are specifically aimed to insulate a company against data loss due to attacks.

An Internal Mistake

While we all picture hackers hunched over tables full of computers assailing our corporate databases, the truth is that most cases of data breaches and data loss come from within. That doesn’t necessarily mean someone on your staff is working for the other team; the majority of data loss issues are caused by honest (but disastrous) mistakes. This can range from a single employee making a bad high-level decision that affects whole systems, to repetition of small mistakes over thousands of customer records, to viruses brought on innocently by bad browsing habits.

Technical Failure

While it’s rare if you use Automatic Test Pattern Generation (ATPG), well-maintained machines from reputable name brands, technical failures do happen. A server can fail or a key hard disk can go bad and with it, all the information it contains. Efforts to try to salvage data from corrupted systems are expensive and have a limited success rate. It’s better to be backed up in the first place.

A Traditional Disaster

While perhaps the least common cause of data loss, disasters do happen. From hurricanes and flooding to fires, earthquakes, and tornadoes, a disaster can take out hundreds of crucial machines at once. Disasters can also destroy their remains (preventing data recovery efforts) or the very buildings that hold them. When a natural disaster happens, there is no substitute for a good data center disaster recovery plan.

Do you have a reliable disaster recovery plan in place? Contact Distributed Systems Services, Inc. to learn more at 1.877.289.0395.

 

6 Data Center Solutions You Need to Know About

by Jack Gesualdi, October 27th, 2014 in Data Center

Does data matter to your business? No matter what your industry, the answer is yes. Businesses rely on data for everything from communication and creative collaboration to maintaining customer records. But that also means you need to be able to store, protect, backup, and access your data—and every business’s needs are different. That’s why data center solutions need to be different, too. These days, data centers don’t just offer server space; they offer a lot more. Here are six data center solutions that you need to know about:

data center solutions concept

Image courtesy of watcharakunat FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1.  Cloud computing – Cloud computing is an excellent data center solution for companies who want fast, flexible service that also saves them money. Cloud-based data services give staff in all locations (as well as on-the-go) access to shared company resources in real-time, while reducing information storage needs. More companies are moving toward secure cloud solutions.

2.  Hosting – Hosting means that you outsource your data center to an offsite location handled by your data center company. This not only frees up your internal IT staff from overseeing your network and information security, it also eliminates the need to buy and maintain servers,  worry about power or cooling, and invest in state-of-the-art facilities.

3.  Server virtualization – Server virtualization can allow you to do more with less. Virtual machines give you the security and efficiency of a dedicated machine at a fraction of the cost. It’s the perfect solution for companies with lower or flexible server needs.

4.  Managed backup services – Every business needs to back up its information securely, but this process must be managed to ensure effectiveness. The ideal backup solution provides an ongoing, automated backup with no duplicated files and nothing unintentionally left out—as well as a clear and fast process for recovering that data when needed. A managed backup can also help you clean up and streamline your fileservers and data storage so that the entire system is unified and efficient across your company.

5.  Disaster recovery – Going beyond a simple backup, disaster recovery planning requires a methodical, highly secure and offsite solution for data protection. A proper disaster recovery plan will not only back up your data, but prepare your business to transition smoothly after a major disaster or technical failure, with minimal interruption to your operations.

6.  IT Outsourcing – Sometimes it’s not only equipment you need, but expertise. Data center solutions increasingly include highly-trained professional IT staff on a contract basis for both short and long-term needs.

Does your business use any of these data solutions?