(this article first appeared on Technorati)
I know what you're thinking, "I've seen about 400 articles about Apple's new cloud services offering already. Why would I want to read this one?" Well, sir, this one was written while eating Ruffle's Cheddar & Sour Cream potato chips...for breakfast! Who else can say that? Who else would even want to?
Apple has announced a revision to their current MobileMe offering that will not only give you a free email address, but also a way to sync that email, your contacts, and also calendars over all of your Mac and iOS devices. It used to be $99/year, but will cost nothing. Not only that, but this service will use your Apple ID to track all of your purchases to push new apps and songs down to all of your devices. If you buy and app on your iPhone, it will automatically download to your iPad. If you buy a song on your Mac, it will be pushed to your iPhone right away. This is all free, mind you.
Steve Jobs's favorite one of these new iCloud features was something called Photo Stream, which will be a sort of live feed of photos taken from your iPhone and other iOS devices that can be seen on all of your Mac and iOS devices. This stream will show your most recent 1000 for 30 days, which he says should be enough time to move photos out of that stream into a new Album, or permanantly moved to your Mac.
Another addition is the ability to backup your devices once a night without you having to plug into your computer. When I installed the beta of iOS 5, it asked me if I wanted to restore from an iCloud backup, which I had not yet made. Videos online show that once you add in your Apple ID credentials, all of your apps from your account start to show up and download. Email accounts, too. The future!
This may not seem like huge news to us in the IT field, but for 98% of Apple users, they don't want to have to worry about syncing once a week or plugging in to restore from a backup. Once September rolls around, Apple is going to take care of this for all of their users. Many providers are coming out of the woodwork and claming "we did this first". They're all right, but Apple could be the first company to make this an assumed feature that "just works".
I, for one, look forward to the revival of the Roaming Profile.
- by David, "And Don't Call Me Shirley", Quiram
Have you documented your disaster recovery plan? I am not talking about listing some tasks you want to do or where you kept your backup cd, but a full planned out process to get the IT portion of your company running again in a timely and efficient manner?
Most companies have not and some will not. Having gone through a disaster for a company which did not have a disaster recovery, I have seen where the value of having a process laid out will make the recovery less stressful for you, the owners, and the staff.
Having the plan figured out before a crisis gives you several advantages:
It gives a level of confidence in the systems, your ability, and the future in case something happens.
It begins the exercise of how would I do this before things go wrong, as opposed to how do I do this with things going wrong.
It gives you a framework to work with. No static plan will ever fully cover a dynamic event. The saying is the first casualty of any battle is the plan. But having steps mapped out, priorities determined, resources identified, and an understanding of what needs to happen will allow you to be more maneuverable to the changes in the crisis.
By documenting your plan or process for recovering your IT resources you will be showing the owners that you are thinking of the future. It isn't doom and gloom thinking, the reality is that things go wrong, thing will break, and it is never convenient. Plan ahead to reduce the issues and risks you will encounter. If you have a well thought out and tested plan in place, you will be able to support the company’s Business Continuity plan. Remember the BC plan is different from the DR plan. The DR plan is there to support the BC and should be integrated into it. The DR provides the tools for the Business to move forward after a disaster, but we need to make sure we have the tools ready and available.
I have written up several disaster recovery plans for companies that range from complicated multi server/multi-site to single server at someone's home office. Each time the planning and documentation process has proven to be invaluable. It is a time for discovery, identifying issues that would hamper the recovery process, and gaining a better understanding of what needs to happen when. The plan will also get the owner's buy-in to the process beforehand and set up realistic expectations BEFORE the disaster happens. This is very important. If you can show that the recovery effort will take 24 hours for the core infrastructure to be re-established, it will give you the time and room to do your job without the owner and management worrying what you are doing.
The plan provides the framework to address the crisis. No matter how well I have written a plan, there are unexpected events that occur which can derail the plan. Even in testing things happen, replacement servers fail, key equipment doesn’t show up, staff members are sick, network devices power supplies fail. All these have happened just in testing. I welcome these issues in testing because it adds another stress test to the plan and staff working with the plan. By identifying the priorities in the recovery, you can react and re-task resources based on that. The advantage of having an establish priority in recovery is that if you are questioned on the reasoning you have a document which was agreed upon beforehand by management and owners that you are following.
The planning of a DR is only the first step in the whole process. But it is a step that should not be taken lightly. Understand that once you start you are going to find issues with in the systems you are backing up, the thinking and views of management, owners, and staff. By getting all of this address and the plan laid out ahead of time, you will save time, reduce frustration, reduce risk, and increase success in the event of a disaster.
Make sure to take the next step and test the plan through a walk through and then an actual recovery with test machine to simulate the disaster. This will all be time and money well spent when the disaster occurs. If you'd like to have Trigon review, or create a disaster recovery plan for your business, be sure to contact us.
Computers are nowhere near perfect. They fail, they crash, and they become infected with nasty viruses that can make your life more than miserable. What's even worse is that they don't give you any warning signs - no slight cough or scratchy throat - it's often a one and done deal. However, as imperfect as they are, computers sure are convenient if you use them properly. This is why it is extremely important to back up your data.
Having your computers fail and not having backups is a badge of your stupidity (or your IT Company's in some cases), don't wear it proudly. Business and service disruptions due to a loss of data are no joke. In fact, they can sometimes be bad enough to put an organization out of business. In IT Support, we don't take backing up lightly. Too many people don't back up; despite being told to constantly. If something crashes or goes down, you better hope that you are backing up. Backing up will allow you to recover most, if not all, of your data.
Make sure you back up some if not all of your data, but most certainly backup what is important. A recent Microsoft article I read noted that the two most important items to back up are your Customer Databases and your Payroll Records. Be sure to back these up because they are the driving force behind your organization. Also, remember to store your backups off site. By taking the backups off site, you are preventing the possibility of losing all of your data if something physically happens to your office. Backing up is one thing, but storing your data in a safe location is another.
All in all, you should be backing up. Does it sound too difficult for you to do on your own? Maybe. And that's why Philadelphia IT Support Company, Trigon Technology, and other reputable IT Service providers in your local area can help make your backup process easy. For more information or to have Trigon setup a backup plan for you, reach out to us today by calling 1-888-494-TRIGON or by emailing us at solutions@TrigonIT.com. If you're not backing up - do yourself and your business a favor and make the call today!
In my previous life, I played the role of a mildly successful branch manager for the nation's 4th
largest bank and during this time, I participated in many a campaign and many initiatives to drive business into my branch, bolster my monthly sales results and single handedly feel as if I was positively affecting the price for a share of my company's stock. Why does this matter? It doesn't, other than to provide a base to present an idea that stuck with me over the years and to provide a nice seguay on how to practically apply this concept in the world of IT Support
Preparing for the unexpected. As part of our internal profiling strategy at the bank, this was a question we would ask our clients as a way of probing deeper into their financial ‘hey nows' in the hopes of attracting them with additional services that the bank provided. Preparing for the unexpected is not a foreign concept to most, though I am sure that when you are with your friends, it is an idea that NEVER comes up. No one likes to talk about the unexpected, let alone prepare for the unexpected. We are all going to live until we're 100. . .maybe longer. . . right?
If I asked you to associate the concept of ‘Preparing for the unexpected' to the IT Services world, I am confident that our conversation would take an express elevator to the floor where we would get off and begin discussing your company's back up strategy. I am certain this is what the phrase conjures up, and rightly so. In the world of IT, the ‘unexpected' would in no doubt take the form of some sort of data or information loss and ‘Preparing for this' would in no doubt be identifying the best (albeit ‘best' may = most cost effective) type of back up strategy and disaster recovery plan to put in place. But I ask you, and challenge you to consider that this concept can be and should be applied to all spectrums of your IT environment. Whether it be a large arena like implementing a sound back up strategy that will affect everyone or a one on one interaction, perhaps with a principal of your company, where you thought that you had done your due diligence, but in reality may have been blindly walking through the paces, we can all benefit from the idea that we need to prepare for the unexpected. Emphasis is clearly placed on those ideas that will most certainly negatively impact a large audience, but many of us forget, including myself, that it is often the small one on one interactions that, if done with true thought and purpose can have resoundingly great effects but, if overlooked and neglected, can have an unsightly ripple effect that may seem to never end. I offer that preparing for the unexpected does not always need to be an overly involved, multi-tiered process involving input from many different resources. In reflecting on incidents and interactions from my past (I say that tongue in cheek), planning for the unexpected can be something as simple as a 10 minute meeting with an associate to review, plan and confirm or even checklist or work order sign off document.
This concept is not new, ‘Preparing for the unexpected', but in writing this, I am overwhelmed at the idea that I (I will only speak for myself on this point!)) continue to overlook the easy things in life, the things that should be absolute ‘gimme's', and still cannot understand why. It is dawning on me that perhaps rather than ‘Prepare for the Unexpected', I should begin ‘Planning for the Expected' - I may just surprise myself with the results.
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It is essential for all businesses in the Philadelphia area to have a backup and disaster recovery plan
. If you already backup your organization's data, than good, you're on the right track. However, have you ever tested your data? If you're not testing the validity of your data, if an event were to occur, you may not have any data to restore! Trigon Technology, a Philadelphia Computer Consulting company
, can help your organization remain effective and efficient throughout a disruptive event.
Interested in more information on Philadelphia backup and disaster recovery solutions? Be sure to check us out!
In order for your business to stay up and running during a catastrophic event, your organization should be backing up its information. It is essential to take backups off site. If a disaster were to occur in the Philadelphia area and something happened to your headquarters, backing up off site would allow your organization to continue its daily operations.
When backing up off site, it is important to make sure that your data is stored safely, and that you will have easy access to it should a disaster occur. Trigon Technology, a Philadelphia IT Solutions company, helps Philadelphia's small and midsized businesses plan and prepare for business disruptions. Trigon Technology's backup & disaster recovery solutions for Philadelphia implement new technologies that allow for online backups, making backing up easy and worry free.
For more information on backup solutions for Philadelphia area businesses click here: Backing Up with Trigon