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One of their customers was the owner of a promotional product business in the Baltimore area—They called us for help. When the server crashed, they lost all access to their files, applications, and email. This lasted through the following Tuesday, a full 5 days! Even worse—The IT company sent out an email apologizing, and said that they decided to just shut down their business!  They referred customers to other IT providers and told them that they would try to restore their data. This IT provider had been providing their own cloud services.  When their server crashed and they shut down, their clients were literally left without much-needed cloud services. This IT company had been providing service to a number of local accounting firms. What this means is that these businesses couldn’t access their clients’ financial data—And this confidential may have been lost or exposed! Fortunately, the business owner who called me said she was able to get her data back. However, it took them 6 days to get running again because the IT company had only backed up their files.  They didn’t provide business continuity services! The Take Home Message? —All Cloud Services Aren’t the Same. A true, state-of-the-art, cloud data center with servers should have business continuity implemented in case their data center or server hardware fails. If you’re looking for cloud services, be sure to find out about the data center the provider uses. If they use a white-label cloud service where they handle this themselves, ask:

  • What’s your Service Level Agreement?
  • If your servers fail, how quickly can you get me back up and running?
  • What’s the business continuity solution?
Here are 3 simple things you can do:
  1. Choose an IT partner who knows what they are doing in regard to cloud strategy.
  2. Ask them:
    1. Who are you partnering with?
    2. Is this your own cloud server?
    3. Did you build the server yourself?
    4. Is a data center managing the cloud service?
  3. Do they have a business continuity solution in their data center?
What is your assurance to us that if your server crashes? What is your guarantee on how quickly I’ll be back up and running?   If the answer is greater than 4 hours, walk away.  This is too long! If they use their own server as a cloud solution, find out how often they refresh and upgrade their hardware.   If they refresh it every 5 years, like you would probably do for your own server, this isn’t enough. You want an IT provider who has an enterprise-level infrastructure in place, with redundant:
  • Power
  • Internet
  • Servers
  • Switches
  • Firewalls
The keyword? — Redundant.  And make sure they refresh their hardware every 3 years. If you miss these steps, and you don’t keep up with technology, you’ll end up in “bad waters.”
  • You won’t be able to work,
  • You’ll still have to pay your employees,
  • You’ll hope that you can get your data back and access your applications, and
  • You’ll hope that your customers won’t leave and go to the competition.
One Source IT partners with Microsoft. They have data centers throughout the U.S. We also partner with a second cloud provider named Green Cloud We get assurances from them that they:
  • Refresh and update hardware every 3 years.
  • Guarantee limited downtime if their infrastructure goes down.
  • Can get our clients back up and running in less than 4 hours.
We ask all the questions I suggested you ask. We’ll be your IT Partner for strategy, your CIO and your IT Manager.  We’ll outsource the services you need so you don’t have to. Feel free to reach out to us for help, or more information. OSISIT.com]]>