Image this: You are at an office of a potential buyer of your products. The meeting is to begin in 30 minutes. You are getting prepped and discover that your presentation on your laptop is corrupted! Do you panic? Maybe, but you also realize your data is backed up to the cloud.
You call your backup provider. I answer. I listen to your frantic whispering over the cell phone, and then I remotely restore your file to your laptop that was backed up the night before. You present your presentation minutes later and win the day!
We at Trigon provide a backup solution leveraging cloud resources to back up your data be it at the office or on the road. The Trigon Online Backup can be used to backup critical data from servers, laptops, and workstations. The service backs up data and restores data, it isn’t designed for bare metal restoring, though Trigon does have service for this as well.
Why backup to the cloud?
- One advantage of the cloud backup was highlighted in the scenario above. The remote backup of offsite resources. The travelling staff members can have their laptops backed up and restored out in the field. They do not have to come back to the office to upload and download data, no VPN needed, just a network connection. The restore can be initiated by the user or remotely by Trigon.
- The backups can be set up with bandwidth throttling to have minimum impact on the computer performance. The users will not notice it is running and their changes are being saved. This bandwidth control also limits the impact on your office network as well if there are multiple machines backing up to the Trigon Online Backup at the same time.
- The data stream to and from the cloud resources are all protected with a military grade encryption. 256-bit AES security. So if you are on a public or guest network, the data passed back and forth is protected if someone is nearby wearing the black hat and nefarious moustache. The encryption is maintained while the data is at rest as well.
- The very nature of cloud backups means that your data is stored offsite. No need to remember to bring home tapes, external USB drives, or send them to be secured in offsite storage. The data is stored at two secure data centers located in different parts of the country. So the backup service has redundancy built into it as well.
- For those who do use tapes, a major quality of life improvement is you don’t have to switch out tapes. How many times did you remember to switch out the tape at the last minute or when you got home? How many times did you get the tape rotation messed up? Not with a cloud backup!
- The Trigon Online Backup solution has the ability to back up critical production data from virtual servers, Exchange servers, and SQL servers. The backups can be set up to be rather specific. For example you can set the mailbox backup to exclude messages on the subject level.
- The Trigon Online Backup utilizes bit level backups, so it reduces bandwidth and storage needed. Only backing up what has changed since last time the job was run.
- Backup jobs are monitored and reviewed for failures and warnings. We monitor the jobs for issues and address them to make sure your data is being captured and saved.
- Cost savings. By having the backups move to the cloud you no longer have to pay for utilities to run the backup tape drive or other devices. No service costs for the hardware No need to purchase new tapes every year. Reduction of staff time transporting the backup media offsite. You will no longer have to pay for the offsite storage. The price point for the Trigon Online Backup is minimum compared to what is spent each year maintaining the onsite backup solution.
There are a lot of reasons to participate in a cloud based backup solution: convenience, accessibility, cost, and security. Add in the granular level backups that can be done, and the built in redundancy, then the Trigon Online Backup is even more appealing. Best of all, NO MORE TAPES!
My answer is….Yes.
If you are not both, it is wise to ask yourself why? If you see yourself as simply a follower you may want to take stock of your situation. If your personality is phlegmatic (now I am showing my age) or introverted you may be perfectly happy in the follower role. Just realize that your potential for business and financial growth may be limited.
On the other hand, if you are a follower because you feel you can’t get your ideas implemented due to hierarchical limitations; it takes too much work to get movement in the direction you want; or you are simply unhappy with your job…Change! The economy may be poor but staying where you are unhappy and/or not appreciated is worse. Don’t allow yourself to become a disgruntled worker. You might find yourself looking for a new job whether you want to or not. Make the change on your terms and within your timeframe. There is a happier hunting ground out there for you.
If you are a business leader and follow no one you need to check your ego at the door. No one is an island unto themselves. If you want it that way then go buy your own island and move there. Everyone will be happier.
However, if you are a business leader you probably follow many things. You probably follow trends, markets, journals, blogs, etc. But are you following someone that can enhance your business leadership and Partner-to-Partner Connections/Relationships/Solutions.
I believe everyone can benefit from a mentor. Someone to bounce ideas off of that will give you honest feedback. Beware all the “Life Coaches” that have popped up recently. Do your homework. Does the person you are looking to mentor you have vast experience and knowledge in your area of expertise? Are they someone who has your best interest in mind and not their wallet?
If you do not know anyone that fits the bill, or anyone that knows someone, you might want to start with an organization like SCORE (Senior Corps of Retired Executives). They can be contacted via their website at http://www.score.org
As part of the Microsoft Partner Network we here at Trigon are here to assist you in leading your business to a whole new level.
May you be a business leader who follows when appropriate.
We are in the business of IT Support. And while most people don’t log into their Facebook or Twitter accounts to catch the most recent news about an Exchange upgrade #fail, a social media presence is something that an IT Support company, let alone every business, should take advantage of.
Here at Trigon, our social media accounts let us keep in touch with clients and partners. We share our blogs and newsletters, connect with prospective clients or people who may need some computer advice, and track trends in our industry. We often search for certain subjects on Twitter, and interact with people who post questions or topics that we may be able to help with.
Lastly, Social Media is important because it allows for communication with organizations that is otherwise not possible. For example, we recently found out our Better Business Bureau profile was in need of some updates. I attempted to contact our local office, and somehow was looped around and dumped out in a voicemail system that belonged to the national headquarters in Washington D.C. I left a voicemail, but to no avail.
After two full business days and a weekend, I decided I’d try to contact the Better Business Bureau over Twitter.
What did I get? A helpful response almost instantly from their Twitter account, @bbb_us, which resulted in a dialogue that eventually ended with them letting us know that they contacted our local chapter and directed them to reach out to us.
Social media allows for customers and people to connect with businesses in a personal way that was never possible before. It also provides a way for businesses, both large and small, to manage their brands, increase customer interaction, and share knowledge as an authority on a certain subject matter. "
If you'd like to interact with us over Social Media, follow us on Twitter at @TrigonIT or become a fan of our Facebook Page.
Before I worked at Trigon, when I thought of IT Support, I immediately thought of the abrasive, cocky computer nerd, Nick Burns, that Jimmy Fallon played on Saturday Night Live. In all honestly, who the hell would want that guy in their office?
And luckily for all of us, he’s a fictional stereotype that misrepresents my people - IT people. In reality, the average IT person is not like that, and if you have someone like that in your office, you should promptly show them the door.
Here’s the kicker; as helpful as IT people can be in your office, even if they aren't like Nick Burns, they shouldn’t be there. It’s more affordable and beneficial to your business to outsource your IT support. By outsourcing your IT to a remote support company, you won’t have to pay for the salary, benefits, sick days, and vacation days of an internal employee, and you’ll receive the same quality (if not better) IT support.
By having a remote monitoring service, you won’t need an engineer at your physical work location. Instead, the engineer monitors your computer through use of the internet and by a client that he or she would have installed on your computer. This monitoring is done offsite, and allows for potential problems with your computer to be picked up on and fixed before they begin to boil. Most likely, you won’t even notice a thing.
Trigon Technology can monitor your systems for you. If you are located near the Philadelphia area, contact us today at 1-888-494-TRIGON, or email us at solutions@TrigonIT.com. We promise we won’t be like this:
Nick Burns - The Company Computer Guy
Bri | MySpace Video
Managed Services Programs, such as our PinnacleCare Solution, have been growing rapidly as an alternative to IT departments and break/fix IT companies, due to the benefits and cost savings that are associated with outsourcing IT. Managed Services companies, and IT Support companies that offer their clients a Managed Services Program, allow their clients to receive the best possible IT Support there is.
Here 8 reasons why SMBs should make the switch to Managed Services:
1) Proactive and Preventative Support – With a Managed Services Program, there will be no need for “reactionary IT support”. Problems and disruptions don’t exist, as bumps in the road are eliminated well before they become a problem.
2) No Downtime – With a Managed Services Program, you will most likely be guaranteed uptime 99.9% of the time.
3) Employee Efficiency – Piggybacking off of the “No Downtime”, if you don’t have any downtime, your employees will be able to stay on task and remain effective at all times. Who wouldn’t want that?
3) Fixed, Flat Fees - Without having to pay for “reactionary” service, you will not have to pay outrageous, unwarranted, unexpected fees. You will know what you’re going to pay each month.
4) Engineer Experience – With IT Managed Services, you won’t be receiving support from your wife’s dad’s best friend or your boss's twin sister’s grandkid who mastered Logo in his Pre-K years. You’ll be receiving the support of a full-time IT Support staff with extensive knowledge and certifications in the field.
6) Engineer Efficiency – Managed services allow for work to be done as quickly as possible. Think of it this way, you’re paying your IT company already, so when they send someone to fix a potential problem, they’re not charging you an additional fee. Their engineers are working on their time, and they want their engineers to knock out tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible – allowing them to work on as much as they possibly can.
7) No Need for a Staff - If you are a part of a Managed Services Program, you don’t have a need for an internal IT staff. As many SMBs know, IT departments can be too expensive to staff. Therefore, you can receive the same, if not better support, without paying for employee salaries, benefits, sick days, vacation pay…the list goes on.
8) Resources – You’ll have access to an unlimited amount of IT resources and in-depth knowledge regarding how your business could benefit with the proper IT systems in place. Remember, you’re dealing with an organization that eats, sleeps, and breathes IT. Not a department in your non-IT-related business.
If your organization would like to take advantage of the benefits of a Managed Services Program, contact Trigon Technology today! To learn more about PinnacleCare, call us at 1-888-494-TRIGON, or email us at solutions@TrigonIT.com.
As an IT Support
professional, I often hear from my family members and friends about how their printer freezes up and the queue does not respond. Here are a few steps that you can take to try and resolve this issue (before you kick it(, without being a certified IT professional
or a managed services provider.
Go into the ‘Start' menu and select ‘Run'. When the run window pops up, type in ‘services.msc' and press enter.
Once in the Services window, scroll down until you see the ‘Print Spooler'. Right-click on ‘Print Spooler' and select ‘Stop'. This will stop the computer process that contains your print queues.
Next, you will need to clear the jam. Now that the Print Spooler service is stopped, open an Explorer window and type ‘C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\PRINTERS' into the address line. Delete all of the files in this folder.
Now that the jam is cleared, you will need to restart the Print Spooler service. Go back to the services window, right-click on ‘Print Spooler', and select ‘Start'.
Problem Solved. Thanks Trigon!
One does not have to work for an IT Solutions Company
to truly appreciate the Spring season. . . especially this one. I am quite confident that we are all overjoyed at the thought of waving ‘Bye-Bye' to this past winter - Bon Voyage - Arrivederci - Sayonara - I mean c'mon did you really want to spend your days shoveling out of the record 70.3" of white wonderment that befell the Philadelphia area?? It wreaked havoc on so many obvious things - the roads, our homes, our personal property, our sanity and , for a few, their IT equipment. Yes my friends, our poor IT equipment also suffered the wrath of Old Man winter. How effective is that VPN connection when the Network that you are tunneling to is down due to a temporary power loss and your Battery Back Up strategy was non-existent? Ah, who cares? We have another few months to prepare an effective battery back up strategy or disaster recovery solution
-Winters wrath has hit the pike and taken the bad weather and intermittent power outages with it! Sanity restored! Right??
A-Hem, you may just want to grab a chair and take a seat, for while we can say goodbye to the cold temperatures and the snow, we are in no means, free and clear of bad weather and intermittent power outages. While spring does normally conjure up positive images - more hours of daylight, warmer temperatures and fields of daisys that we can run through, please do not fail to recognize the darker side of spring's finest - torrential rains, violent thunderstorms, tornadic winds and even the occasional blackout. These WILL definitely wreak havoc on an ill-prepared computer network environment.
Fortunately, there are solutions available that your company's IT partner is more than likely familiar with that will establish power and system redundancy, and ensure that your network can be risen from the depths of a direct hit from a lightning bolt to your facility. While I am sure that your company has invested wisely in insurances to cover possible catastrophes, can you, in the same breath, say that you have done the same for your IT Network? While the premiums that you pay may cover the hardware and software replacement, can you estimate, at any given time, the cost of business that is lost because your system is down? Often the cost cutting is done at the expense of effectively protecting your network with the idea that ‘this will never happen to me!'
Pro-active implementation of IT Strategies will drastically minimize a company's down time. These solutions, though they may initially seem expensive, will prove their true worth in the event that you find yourself on the wrong end of mother nature's wrath. With a well thought out recovery plan, you will be able to more easily overcome an IT hardship and not be left to stare at potential business walk out your door while you scratch your head saying ‘I should have. . .' (Remember our friend Ben Franklin - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure). There is no doubt that business moves at the speed of light. Business owners take every precautionary step to ensure that they hire the right staff, set up shop in a manner that will be profitable and offer more than one solution to accommodate their clientele. If you are a business owner, small or large, ask yourself if you have taken the time to truly invest in your number one client - yourself and your business -especially when it comes to protecting your IT Network. If you haven't, you may want to consider an IT consultation from a trusted IT Services Company today, not tomorrow or next week but TODAY! Is that thunder I hear in the distance?
On Wednesday April 21st
, 2010 McAfee's software caused quite a stir in the IT Support
world, specifically for users of Windows XP PCs. The widely used and highly regarded antivirus software glitched sometime early Wednesday morning, when the company released a flawed update that directed the software to attack a critical component of Microsoft Windows. According to a CNN Article
, "The update was available for business customers for about four hours before distribution was halted."
That damage did not go unnoticed. Affected computers, which ranged from individual computers to tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of computers, were caused to continuously reboot or just crash altogether. Here at Trigon, a Philadelphia area IT Support Company, the Help Desk was alerted and began to work on a solution instantly. When asked about the situation, Trigon‘s Vice President, Michael DeThomas, said, "Fortunately for our clients, our preventative and proactive approach to IT Support was able to put the problem to rest before it caused any damage. One of our Engineers uncovered the McAfee false alarm that was causing severe problems. Based off of our excellent documentation and using our advanced monitoring systems, we figured out which of our clients would potentially be affected and which servers managed their antivirus software. Trigon's Engineers then logged into those servers and disabled the McAfee file updates. Next, our engineers evaluated the problem on affected machines, identified a resolution and quickly wrote and implemented scripts to remedy the problems." Mike went on to say, "Because of this swift action and our centralized management approach, most of the client computers we manage were completely unaffected (99.97% of them to be exact) and the few affected machines were repaired within hours and not days."
Others weren't so lucky. CNN reported that, "University of Michigan's medical school reported that 8,000 of its 25,000 computers crashed. Police in Lexington, Ky., resorted to hand-writing reports and turned off their patrol car terminals as a precaution. Some jails canceled visitation, and Rhode Island hospitals turned away non-trauma patients at emergency rooms and postponed some elective surgeries." And according to ABC, "Intel Corp. appeared to be among the victims, according to employee posts on Twitter. Intel did not immediately return calls for comment."
Unexpected events, such as this, give us a glimpse of just how important having proper IT Support can be. "If we wouldn't have been there, our client's businesses would have been devastated," said Sal DeRose, Sr., Trigon Technology's President. "So many end users are still on XP computers. This would have been such a big blow to many of the organizations we manage if we weren't on it right away. I am proud of the way our team reacted, and because of their actions many of our clients worked through the day without ever knowing about this business halting issue."
If your organization was affected by this major blunder, Trigon may be able to help. Call us today for a free consultation and to find out how your business can benefit from the uptime our managed service clients are guaranteed, through our proactive and centralized approach to IT support.
What is File Slack? And how does it relate to Computer Forensics?
If you have a basic understanding of computers then you know that files take up space on your hard drive. You may also understand that some files are larger than others and that they can range from only a few bytes to many gigabytes. What you may not know is that files actually have two file sizes: A logical size and a physical size. The reason for the two sizes lies in the way that the file system stores files on your hard drive. Without getting into too much detail on how file systems work, the answer to this mystery lies in the understanding of File Slack, which is broken into 2 parts: Drive Slack and RAM Slack. Knowledge of File Slack is not required for everyday computing but it does play a very important role when it comes to Digital Forensics and eDiscovery.
You may have heard the terms Sector and Cluster when referring to hard drives. At a very basic level, the Sector makes up the smallest area on a piece of media, or hard drive, that can be written to. These Sectors are then grouped into Clusters that make up the allocation units on the drive. On Windows systems, the Sector is a fixed size of 512 bytes whereas the Cluster size is determined by the size of the disk itself. So smaller disks will have small Clusters sizes and vice versa. When a file is created, the file system allocates the first available Clusters depending on the logical size of the data being stored. Obviously, every file stored on a drive cannot possibly be the exact size of one or multiple Clusters so there will be space left over in the last cluster. This is File Slack.
RAM Slack refers to the remaining space in the last Sector of a file. Remember, Clusters are the allocation units but the file system still writes in 512 byte chunks. Very rarely will a file be an exact multiple of 512. So, once the file system finishes writing to the last Sector of a file, there will be space at the end of that Sector. Prior to Windows 95 version B, RAM Slack was filled with random data from RAM, hence RAM Slack. This was a huge security hole because data in RAM could contain passwords and other sensitive data. Since then, Windows file systems write the hex key x00 to the remaining space in the last sector of a file.
Drive Slack refers to the remaining un-written-to sectors in the last cluster of a file. The file system does not fill this space like it does with RAM Slack. The file system actually does nothing with this space. Whatever data that was contained in those sectors prior to the file being written still remains there, even remnants of deleted files.
You can see how important File Slack is to Digital Forensics and E-Discovery. With the correct set of tools and an experienced forensic examiner, like myself, data stored in File Slack and Unallocated Space can be recovered. If you have questions about our E-Discovery solutions or if you would like to learn more about Trigon's IT services, and how they can help you, contact us at solutions@TrigonIT.com or call us at 1-888-494-TRIGON.
A recent flyer I received from HP indicated on it that "When it comes to technology, older definitely isn't wiser." That got me to thinking - when should you replace computers and is there a way to keep them running longer?
According to the flyer, PCs older than 3 years can experience a number of issues, such as 1.) 5x more power supply failures, 2.) 3.5x more software crashes, and 3.) 1.6x more virus attacks. When you add up all the costs for purchasing parts and time spent fixing the computer, is it really worth it?
Now, if you are like me, I like holding on to things until I can't fix them anymore, because either I can't get parts for it any more or it just simply is not fixable (ever have a laptop just not turn on, even after replacing the battery)? Being an IT Professional working for an IT Managed Services company, I have the experience to know when to call it quits and just "pony up the dough". However, how much time is spent fixing computers that I could be spending with my wife and daughter?
Trust me, while working in IT Support I've seen it first hand; older computers definitely take a lot more TLC to keep them going, so it really comes down to a question: What is more important to you - the dollars in your wallet or how much time you have for friends and family? Many times you have to have a delicate balance because you want to spend more time with friends and family but don't have the money to spend on a new system. Other times, you have a little extra and can afford a new system which will give you those precious hours that you cannot reclaim.
In the business world, a general rule of thumb for workstation replacement is every three years. Now does this mean that you can't have a system run for 5 or 6 years? Absolutely not, but you are going to spend more time keeping it running as best as possible then you would with a new computer. Keep in mind that a new system doesn't mean you won't have problems, but you are more likely to be able to spending time on things you want then on fixing a broken computer.
If you'd like your technology evaluated to find out if you need to upgrade, call Trigon today for your FREE IT Consultation - 1-888-494-TRIGON.