It is the need of every business to sort out valuable data and dispose of unnecessary files and folders on regular basis. When companies overlook such tasks, all data is saved whether it is useful or not. To keep data storage cost within budget, companies need to delete and organize data on priority basis.

Categories of Data

Mission-Critical Data

Mission-critical type of data is impossible to recreate again. Such type of data is the backbone of business, and you will not be able to operate your business without it. Legal agreements, contacts, IP, credit card info and tax documents are included in this category. Companies need to make backup of such data in the cloud, as well as in local drives. Save this crucial data in quality hardware and do not overlook data encryption.

Necessary Data

Such type of data is necessary for business, but can be recreated when required. It can be your report or email thread. It is important to store necessary data on specific places where backup option is available. Employees should be familiar with backup concept. For example, your company does not keep back-up of all data. It is expected from workers to save important files on drive with backup option. When hard drive fails, it becomes difficult to find data as employees do not know exact location for saving particular files. Make certain all workers are following the standards.

Infrequently Accessed Data

For companies, there are several documents that are necessary to store for few years. As these documents are infrequently required, they can be stored in cloud archives. There must be local copies of such data. It is not good to keep data in one place. Companies get benefit by storing infrequently accessed data in cheaper cloud archive storage options.

May be Valuable Data

Before data is stored away, companies need to organize their data according to its use and value. Some legacy documents and old statistics that are no longer in use. If you have not used such data within last six months, and will no longer use it in the upcoming year, it is possible that such data may or may not be useful for you. Confirm and dispose such data.

Worthless Data

It is often noticed that useless data for some users is valuable or “may-be-useful” for others. Therefore, figure out what is important and what is useless. Discard setup files for old programs, temporary files, old notes, joke videos and old newsletters.

Storage Policies

When a single place is used to store information by many employees, it is common to get junk files. Managing data on server becomes difficult when multiple workers are allowed to save information. In order to reduce data storage, inform employees about type of data they can store. It is recommended to remove all initial drafts when final is designed. In order to help employees, develop some policies for data deletion and storage.
Before making a decision about data storage, ask some questions to know the type of data.

  • Do you require these files in the future?
  • How long does this data should be stored?

Admin, MSPs and end users get many benefits by keeping the storage space free from unnecessary files.

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There are users who are not familiar with things related to IT. They do not have an idea of cloud and do not know how to avoid malware content. It is good for service providers to spend some time with such users and educate them how to handle things appropriately. One of the effective ways for educating users is a monthly update based on their common concerns. Before designing newsletters, consider these features to make it helpful for users:

Maintenance and Patches Update

Inform users when new patches will be implemented. Have you planned any downtime that will influence uptime? When do the servers get rebooted?

Information about Security Threats

Monthly updates must include new scams and malware that your users could come across in the online world. It can be an email threat or reprehensible sites that post contents to grab attention. If users are well aware of threats and scams, it is possible that they can avoid some security attacks and threats.

Inform Users about Particular Issues

At times, there might be issues that affect a department or a group of people in your company; and as a result, these people might keep on sending support tickets. It is annoying for service providers to read tickets about the same issue again and again. To avoid such situations, make sure that known issues in the company are communicated in the updates, indicating how and when the issues will be resolved in the newsletter. It will reduce the number of support tickets as users are well aware of the issues.

Update about New Projects

Keep users well informed about the type of projects you are working on. Send updates how your team is working hard to improve the infrastructure. Majority of IT service providers are not appreciated as users do not have an idea what they are doing for business continuity. It is good to share your efforts with users to get positive response.

Repetition of Procedures & Policies

When security policies concerning cloud file share and BYOD are discussed, it is helpful to review IT policies of the company. If policies are updated many times and are communicated, users cannot give an excuse for violating the policy. When customers understand these policies, they tend to respect the policies.

Tips and Useful Tricks

It is fun to share tips and tricks with users in newsletters. If you received queries about certain tricks, you could include them as a guide in your newsletter. It will be much appreciated.

Share Videos and Photos

Newsletters should not be based on boring content. Service providers are not like robot, therefore, your emails and newsletters must have some personal stuff, such as photos and videos. Do not send dull contents as updates otherwise, users will ignore them all the time. It must include interesting content that users can forward to others. As users continue to read your updates regularly, they will become confident and capable and will not bother you for minor issues as they will be able to solve them.
Newsletters surely take a lot of your time, but they give you an opportunity to make employees capable to solve issues independently. Test your newsletters and compare the amount of help desk tickets you are getting from users before and after you started sending newsletters. If newsletters cannot achieve your goal, it is good to pay attention to other tasks that are helpful for users.

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There are a number of misconceptions associated with open source software. Here are some facts to distinguish reality from fiction:

  1. Open Source Software is always Free

    It is one of the greatest misconceptions that open source software are available for free of cost. Virtual Machine Manager, Joomla and 7-Zip are a few software that do not require you to pay; however, all open source software are not free.
    Open source software is basically a program that permits people to change its source code. In other words, people can select a program and add or remove features to meet their business requirements.
    Open source licenses verify whether users have paid an amount to use program or not. For instance, Linux distro Ubuntu is linked with General Public License GNU that permits to use, share or modify software freely. On the other hand, distro Red Hat Commercial Enterprise Linux make use of freeware licenses; however, it confines free use through trademark rights. Red Hat charges for updates and closed binary modules, whereas source code is available freely for rebuilds and tweaks.

  2. Open Source Software is Inferior Quality

    Quality and security of software cannot be measured through license flexibility. Internet Explorer and Microsoft Windows are closed source software, but these have been targeted by hackers. It is ridiculous to think that Android has open source therefore it is more vulnerable to hack than iPhone.
    Bugs are also one of the common issues in closed source software. However, only the developer of that closed source program can work on fixing any of the bugs. On the other hand, open source software can count on its worldwide developers’ community to zip away the bugs and come up with an improved and mature product.

  3. Open Source Software is weakly Supported

    Usually, vendors include the cost of technical support and online customer service in product’s price. Commercial program, such as PhotoShop provides resources for premium support. Open alternatives, such as GIMP offer only community support in forums.
    Open source support is usually given critical reviews and seems to have bad reputation. However, open source software, such as WordPress, and its plugins and themes, are updated on regular basis to cover security patches. Some open source software such as Hadoop come with enterprise features. Hadoop’s support is as equal or better than commercial solutions.

  4. Open Source Software is Public Domain

    Public domain and open source are two different names; and they mean different. In reality, public domain software has no copyrights and restrictions like Creative Commons and UnLicense. Some public domain software examples include: Blast, I2P, SQLite. Open source software is restricted. License explains how application should be used, redistributed and modified.
    Knowing the difference between open source and public domain will help you avoid expensive legal issues while sharing or packaging up software.

  5. Open Source Software is Unreliable

    It is natural that customers get a quality product when they pay for it; therefore, free software is believed as unreliable in nature. Fact is open source software is designed with reliability and get tested by thousands of the community members. Popular web applications, such as Apache Web Server, BIND, and PHP are open source. Apaches HTTP server supports popular websites, Wikipedia, PayPal and Apple.

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