How-Can-Newsletters-Help-in-Reducing-Number-of-Support-Tickets

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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Significant Reasons to Virtualize Servers

While discussing about server virtualization, it is common practice to involve consolidation by putting physical workloads on one physical box. Separation in multiple physical workloads is handled by barriers of virtual machine. In fact, workload consolidation is a remarkably important with respect to virtualization. Consolidation is a nice-to-have feature, and should not be used as justification for virtualization. Conversely, virtualization is inevitable conclusions. When workloads are not consolidated, it does not mean that workload would not be virtual. Here are some of the significant reasons that force to virtualize each and every server:

Simplicity & Consistency

Virtualization is considered as an abstraction of hardware. It summarizes hardware and offers a predictable hardware set to operating systems. It is often thought that virtualization adds more complexities, but rather, it makes things simpler. Computers, computer peripherals and operating systems are highly complicated; and virtualization creates standard interfaces that remove layers of complexity and brings simplicity.

Testing & Imaging

One of the remarkable additional features is abstraction of storage and memory, and to take a snapshot of functional systems and save in a file. Imaging feature gives way to many capabilities like to snapshot of system before installation of software, patching and changing configuration. It helps in quick restore if something goes wrong. Though this might look as a negligible feature, it is a key feature and increases the reliability of overall system. Snapshot makes it easy to test various features, repeat testing or roll back to previous versions, and achieve your goals in non production environments.
Snapshot abstraction leads to the ability to keep backups in image based format. Such types of backups help in restoring the system easily and quickly without any additional interface. All hypervisor makers do not add this feature and, therefore, it is important to consider how this feature is added. HyperV has this feature fully; XenServer adds it partially, whereas VMware vSphere adds it with a paid license. If image based backups are offered, they allow a much faster recovery than other forms of backups. It is possible to recover entire system after a disaster in few minutes.

Migrations

Virtual machines can be treated as files when these are not running actively. This feature helps in migration between dissimilar hardware and physical hosts. Conventionally, hardware upgrade or replacement is a very difficult and risky migration procedure. When contemporary virtualization is used, however, it offers non-destructive and reliable system to move hardware with negligible or zero downtime. Due to virtualization, jobs that were risky and complicated in past have become insignificant today.

Management of Workload

Some virtualization features are appropriate for specific scenarios. Virtualization products offer tools to move workloads between different storage devices or host without facing downtime. Presence of fault tolerant options allows workloads to recover by moving from disastrous hardware to superfluous hardware without interference from users.
There are many additional features of virtualization and one of the significant features is consolidation. Just like other features, consolidation is not considered as central feature. Consolidation is responsible to give flexibility while handling workloads. Virtualization gives standardization, flexibility, stability and manageability. While buying virtualization products, analyze the value of the product against its expenditures.

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While establishing small or large data centers, operating cost related to power consumption cannot be overlooked. In order to improve power efficiency, some suggest building data centers near hydroelectric plant. However, data centers come in various sizes, and therefore, building data centers near a hydroelectric plant is not the only option. There are better options to follow some tips and save power. It is impossible to control different variables, such as efficiency of cooling system or room size. If you have a roomful of servers in working conditions, here are a few ways for saving power in data centers:

Installation of Power Saving Servers

In data centers, rack servers use maximum energy. Most of these servers operate at just 20% capacity at any given time. However, these servers consume full power round the clock. If you are replacing existing servers or have decided to buy new ones, it is good to search for variable speed fans. As compared to constant speed fans, variable speed fans scale up or down based on load peaks. You can also pick certified power saving servers, which are about 30 percent more effective than typical servers.
Mechanical drives use more energy, therefore, Solid State Drives (SSDs) are selected to achieve power efficient system. SSDs do not generate much heat, and as a result, variable speed fans work at slower RPM. Mechanical drives will remain in data center until and unless SSDs become capable to store multi TB of data. Same is the case in RAID arrays, where mechanical drives are leading the system. Many IT managers use mechanical drives by disabling features related to power management. When servers are set in sleep or idle mode, it might cause performance issues.
Another effective tip for power saving is the installation of power supplies for each rack, as opposed to each server. Even older power supplies can give 60 to 70 percent efficiency rating. On the other hand, advanced and contemporary power supplies can give about 95 percent power efficiency. Though these power supplies are expensive, they can help in reducing cooling costs and power consumption for longer time period.

Storage Size

Consumption of power is directly proportional to the number of devices in the data center. If you do not need to use saved data on frequent basis, SAN and NAS are the options applicable for storage devices. You may consider servers that are less utilized for data storage; however, additional cooling requirement and CPU resources consume more energy than SAN and NAS.

Virtualization

To improve server utilization, self-regulating operating systems are used. Though operating cost is incurred in virtualized environment, it is negligible when compared to the power efficiency. Virtualization is responsible to free rack space, low cooling cost, and minimizes the number of cables by simplifying the networking requirements.

Cable Management

Overcrowding of cables causes hindrance in distribution of air across data center. If cables are managed properly, it helps in running servers at desired efficiency level. In the absence of appropriate airflow and ventilation, fans are required to work harder. Remove unnecessary cables for proper distribution of air in each rack and server and try to build a customized cable trench to hold your cables.

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​RecommendedBrowser-ChromeOrFirefox

In 2008, Google launched most popular and commonly used browser, named as “Chrome”. At the time, there were many other browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox, IE and Safari that were widely used. Question arises whether selection of browser in this competitive market can make some differences? In current scenario, Microsoft IE is replaced by browser Edge. Even the Edge is not fully compact browser, as it is still in developmental stage. As far as Safari browser is concerned, Apple is no more releasing versions on Windows. Therefore, Firefox is the only browser that can be compared with Chrome to know the differences.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox is an open source and free of cost browser. In 2009, above 47% users were getting support from Mozilla Firefox. Now the number is reduced to 20% as most of users have selected Google Chrome.
Firefox has launched many versions within the last few years to imitate simple and clean look of Google Chrome. In modern world, all browsers have similar feature and offer bookmarks, saved states, tabbed browsing, download managers and integrated search engines. Usually, selection of a browser depends on individual preferences.
One of the interesting features of Firefox is extensions. Through extensions, more features are added for browsing such as URL shorteners and ad blockers. Users are given choice to modify the browser look by changing the theme. If you are interested in themes or extensions, you will prefer to use Firefox. Mozilla Firefox manages extensions to make removal or addition easy for users. Users can synchronize history, bookmarks, installed add-ons, and open tabs by using Firefox Sync feature.

Google Chrome

First version of Google Chrome was released in 2008 when opposing browsers were giving additional features like HTML editors and email clients. Chrome has marked its position by giving streamlined, clean and user friendly browsing experience.
Google Chrome has gained popularity by leaps and bounds. Now, it holds almost 51% of market. Growth of Google Chrome is supported by Android users. They are given a platform to synchronize history and bookmarks across Smartphone, as well as PC with Windows, Linux or OS X. Though Firefox offers similar features as Chrome, users prefer Chrome for matchless options for synchronization.
Omnibox is an appealing feature that compels users to rely on Google Chrome. It displays search results inline as you type in the keywords. Moreover, Chrome’s integration with most powerful search engine is another appealing factor that does not let users to switch to another browsers.
Do you like Google’s services like Maps, G+, Gmail and YouTube? You will love to integrate these services with Google Chrome. Chrome also comes with many extensions to establish new features; however, the list of features is shorter than Firefox.
What is more surprising for users is the ratio of memory usage. When same websites are launched on Mozilla Firefox and Chrome, Firefox uses three to four times more memory than Google Chrome. Google Chrome is, therefore, faster than Firefox, as long as you can manage the memory usage of the extensions.
In short, majority of users are sticking with Google Chrome as it works amazingly and synchronize all options like iOS devices, MacBook and Windows PCs. ​

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Companies have different objectives, starting from low capital investment to improving IT system efficiency. According to company’s requirement, virtualization is adopted to accomplish specific objectives. If you are worried about data breaches and network interruptions, you may need to adopt virtualization. Here are some examples of network virtualization for data security:

Integrate Sensitive Data

In order to neutralize business security threats caused by workers’ carelessness, most of companies are centralizing confidential information. When data is administered centrally, virtualization gives valid protection against data breaches, theft, and malware and virus infections.

Secure Access

Increase of tablets and Smartphone has mobilized the workforce. Employees can now continue to work and become productive when they are not present in the office. To make work easy for employees, businesses are searching ways for employees to provide maximum access to files and applications. By selecting virtualization, workers get instant access to business resources anytime and anywhere through virtual network, which is administered centrally.

Introduction of Sandbox

Employers are always worried about scam artists, hackers and malicious software therefore react apprehensively while giving workers an access to company system for using the web. Sandbox feature separates certain applications which are threatening for a network. For instance, hypervisor is used to develop sandbox for web browsing. As a result, harmful attacks are cut off in virtual environment with no compromise on applications and host server.

Ways to Handle Virtualization Safekeeping Challenges

Though virtualization gives surety of maximum data security, it can give way to new risks. When an isolated system is selected, it could cause disaster across a particular host. Here are some guidelines to reduce effects of network virtualization risks:

Know-how of Risks

It is true virtualization is associated with some threats; however companies must understand the nature of risks while adopting this technology.

Risks depend on various factors. Some of the common reasons of security risks are:

  • When virtual machines are selected to use the Internet
  • When employees select host machine to get sensitive data
  • When virtual machines give access to other devices and computers
  • When physical host machines are influenced by movement of virtual machines

Monitor Network Access

To resolve security issues concerned with virtualization, it is important to design appropriate policy. All members should not be given permission to start, update, and configure virtual machines. At the same time, all virtual machines should not be given Internet access. There must be some strict policies for data security.

Unplug Unnecessary Virtual Machines

When virtual machines are used excessively, they can get exhausted. When non-functional machines are connected with the system, these will increase security threats for the production environment.

Be Practical

Virtual servers and desktops have needs just like physical machines. It means to consider relevant patches and updates for data security. Whatever is the nature of the case, companies should be well informed of the virtual systems to provide security.
There are many security threats associated with virtualization, but companies can get benefit from this technology. Understand your needs, get an idea of the risks involved and select best policies.

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Data-Protection-Solutions-and-Selection-of-Cloud-Backup

Cloud backup systems come in various options. Some of them are simple and have user friendly environment, whereas others have restricted recovery options. Many cloud backup solutions are complicated, but provide wide range of flexible recovery options. Though we cannot state which option is preferable for small and medium sized companies, benefits and drawbacks of these options are discussed to help you in guiding clients for budget oriented solutions that can accomplish business objectives as well.
It is devastating when companies select single option for data protection and recovery. It may happen that a company cannot get Internet connection and lose important information, as there is no other source for backup. Sometimes, the cloud goes down or data backed up in the cloud is removed in error. It is the need of the hour to have two backup systems, one is local and the other is cloud backup to avoid risky situations.

Cloud Archival

When Amazon Glacier services are chosen, low cost is charged for archiving. It is best for files and folders that need to be saved for years without any need to get access on frequent basis. Though Glacier is inexpensive, access to data is not immediate in case of needed recovery. It is not a perfect solution for data recovery, but ideal for sensitive information that is accessible annually.

Folder and Files in Cloud

There is backup service for Google and Microsoft accounts to keep back up of folders and files. These services are uncomplicated and offer great storage options at cheaper rates. Such services are ideal to get access to information at remote places. There are many disadvantages of these services. First of all, information can not be accessed if there is no Internet connection. Easy access can be a drawback when security features are considered. Criminals could easily get access to sensitive data. Only limited option for data recovery are provided and it is not perfect for quick data recovery procedure. When companies require restoring whole system, they cannot get what they require through simple folders and files.

Regular Clouds with Image Based Backup

When data protection is foremost concern, get image based backup to keep data safe in cloud and onsite. When onsite, on premise, backup is selected, a second source for data recovery will be available.

Recovery Cloud & Image Based Backup

Recovery cloud option is similar to regular cloud with some differences. Recovery cloud is developed to assist in recovery procedure. For instance, regular cloud is selected for data protection. In case, disaster occurs and all local systems are damaged, what will be the option to start work on immediate basis? Obviously, you need new system and equipment before downloading data from cloud.
Downtime cost and time period depend on business size; however the cost can be above $8,500 for an hour. If task is more than a few days, calculate the cost company is bound to pay. Conversely, recovery cloud allows running crucial equipment by using any system like laptop or desktop from any location with online connection. In a nutshell, recovery cloud is valuable as it has negligible downtime cost.

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Cloud computing offers wide range of solutions to companies and online backup is one of the best solutions to keep important data safe from disruptions and disasters. It gives way to keep applications and data off-site in highly secured environment. There are great advantages of using backup technology such as automation functionality and encrypted data.
It is stated by many business experts that cloud is not one of the secure sources to safe important data. Online backups have encryption capacity to keep data safe. Conversely, hard drive (external) is not secure, and could be stolen or misplaced. Reasonable charges of online backup compel companies to select this technology. By using online backup, companies are given an opportunity to keep important files and documents safe from disarray and disaster at reasonable rate.

Need to Change Outdated Infrastructure

Organizations and firms must consider the list of advantages associated with cloud computing. Netmetix Limited has issued a report that shows most of businesses are depending on IT systems which are outdated. Companies are paying millions of dollars on annual basis just because of using outmoded solutions for data protection.
To reduce escalating costs, companies are required to select hybrid cloud solution and manage a wide range of in-house resource.
Cloud is reliable solution for companies searching for a platform to protect data; however online backup is more affordable as well as flexible. Even if company has faced data disruption, staff gets access to cloud based data by using internet facility. Cloud offers advanced solutions to help businesses in accessing documents and files reliably and quickly. Even if disaster occurs, such operations never influence on business continuity. These solutions assist to run business even if offices are not in working condition.
Here are three tips concerning the cloud computing and backup solutions that make a business successful:

Organized Data

Keep data in organized pattern to improve backup solutions. It prevents data duplication and help in simplifying recovery procedure. When files are organized, company keeps detail of all files and documents which help in restoring data after disaster.

Backup Procedure

Servers and computers are usually selected for backup process. In fact, data saved in social media accounts, emails and mobiles should be selected for backup for dependability and compliance purpose. Cloud has capability to make things easier and help businesses to keep back-up of all documents and resources without paying additional charges.

Multiple Backups

It is often considered that cloud computing is reliable source and help in accessing data easily. As a result companies rely on online backup solutions only. Most of companies avoid secondary source of backup. In case, online connections are not working, it is good to use hard drive backup as an alternative to keep machines in working mode. Instead of waiting for online connectivity, use secondary source till internet connectivity is confirmed. Multiple backups reduce downtime in severe circumstances.

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Cusps to the Rescue—Hybrid Clouds

The cloud is not new. Nor are the arguments for and against using the private or public cloud going anywhere. All standpoints seem valid. The fears are real and tenable. The solution seems to lie in the creation of the cusp—the hybrid cloud—that resolves the problems and confers the benefits of the cloud. Therefore, it is no wonder that hybrid clouds and discussion on hybrid clouds are dominating the scene.
Hybrid cloud can be simplistically defined as a multi cloud scenario in which the organization uses a Private cloud plus a Service Provider cloud to store and retrieve information. But, it is obvious that these environments will have to be built differently, operated differently and consumed differently. The resources that are allocated to users are no longer static and may be delivered from different locations at any given point in time. The delivery of service is end-to end and convenience is the priority.
The implication is that information delivery constructs; information protection needs, security policies or control systems are manifestly different from those adopted for private or public clouds. The application delivery requirements or application integration needs are distinct.
Clearly, information logistics is a valid concern in the hybrid cloud. A lot of information is going to be moved around the network and it must be available at the right location at the right time over the hybrid cloud. Organizations will have to have an understanding of their data and their usage patterns. They will have to appreciate the cost of moving data around; the risks involved and also ensure that the users have a pleasant experience in accessing and using the data. All this requires the use of several new technologies and better tools.
Information protection and security are of paramount importance. Different protection levels will have to be built in for different types of data in a hybrid cloud scenario. All data is not equal and some data is more important than others. There will have to be mechanisms which ensure that data is continuously protected and accessible to the authorized.
Application service delivery in a hybrid cloud can be complicated. Most applications will be a mix of internal and external components and end to end delivery of the application may become critical. Finally application integration may require extensive customization to create value for the organization.
We, at Data Deposit Box, can help you build a hybrid cloud strategy and hand hold you through the process of setting it up. Contact our support team for more information.

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There has been a paradigm shift in computing. The world is discussing “utility computing”. This new reality is shaping business strategy—market places are global; increased competitiveness is increased reach; uncertainty can be countered by information availability and the new normal is to align business processes to cloud computing. Small and medium businesses see value in the proposition as the cloud advantages them in many ways:
Business is no longer local, confined or constrained by the physical. The electronic world is borderless, instantly worldwide. Remote markets expose infinite potential for growth as small and medium businesses ride the cloud to reach out to these markets using web browser based accessible application interfaces.
Data backup and disaster recovery are priorities for large or small and medium organizations. Cloud backup and recovery services are becoming increasingly sophisticated as backups processes are being streamlined and service level agreements offer highly available, infinitely scalable services with deduplication, compression and other facilities to their customers. Data contained in proliferating mobile devices are linked up to a central database over the Internet for central storage and security. Further, cloud service providers add value to their services by provisioning for bank grade on military grade encryption protocols at the point of transmission and in storage. Elaborate user management systems for authentication and authorization of account users provide additional layers of data security. There is a peak in efficiency as databases and the data contained therein become more and more manageable with versioning, collaboration and indexing for e-discovery.
The biggest benefit of the cloud is seen in the greater financial control that accrues to businesses. Cloud operations are more OPEX than CAPEX and the network is instantly available across the enterprise without investing in IT infrastructure or laying down miles of cables.
The cloud is a driving force behind green computing. It provides business value by reducing carbon footprints and reducing energy consumption patterns.
We, at Data Deposit Box, believe in delivering value to our customers. We offer state of the art cloud services that include hacker proof 256 bit encryption protocols and user management interfaces for added data security. Our servers are highly available and we disaster proof our customer data by replicating it on to geographically dispersed servers for redundancy. Our data centers are physically and electronically secured against intrusion. We are environment friendly and leave only a minimal carbon footprint by our activities.

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