MSP

Data Center Upgrade: Not All Or Nothing

Data Center Upgrade.png

Everyone wants one screen to rule them all: one console display to monitor and manage all systems in a data center. According to some vendors, the only way to achieve this management “nirvana” is to bring in the forklifts and replace every system you own in one swoop. If you have an unlimited budget and no executive committee to report to, that's a suitable and realistic plan.

For the rest of us, the good news is that there is a better alternative: updating servers as they hit the end of their life cycle according to the refresh cycle. A mixed fleet of servers can be highly manageable if you consider a handful of key issues while you're building and evolving the servers within.

Picking The Server Management Framework

Several decisions follow the initial decision of which server management framework is selected. The basic split is between a framework from a hardware vendor and a framework independent of any hardware tie. While they are alike in many ways, there are key differences that will have major implications for your hardware choices.

Hardware-Tied Or Vendor-Neutral?

First, it seems obvious that a hardware-tied management framework should be at the top of your candidate list if all your servers are from a single vendor. While each new generation of servers has features that work more closely in concert with management applications, the vendor's software will typically work with at least three previous generations of hardware.

Vendor-neutral frameworks may lack the ability to take advantage of some specific server features, but they tend to offer consistent management across all servers of a particular generation and across two or three previous generations. They also can be cheaper depending on a multitude of factors. The real advantage of these frameworks involves existing analytics packages that you want to continue using. Integration with a wide range of third-party software is a strength of several vendor-neutral management systems.

Preparing For The Future

With all of these management frameworks, one of the most important considerations is how well the package prepares you for the future, since changing the software that manages a fleet of servers is not something to be taken lightly. Whether the management framework comes from a hardware vendor or not, it will be the tool that allows you to manage new servers and server blades as they are brought into service through the normal hardware refresh cycle.

As servers become part of a growing ecosystem of platforms that support virtual or software-defined functions, a management framework that supports all components of an integrated environment, from the server to storage to the network, becomes more important.

A single pane of glass that allows you to monitor and manage absolutely everything in the infrastructure is not yet available, but you can have a data center management system that will provide direct management of the servers in a diverse fleet while allowing integration with platforms that manage networking, storage, and other functions.

Another valid option for network monitoring and management is hiring a managed service provider (MSP). The advantages of hiring an experienced MSP like Current Technologies are numerous and include spending less on IT personnel, the MSPs are experts, you can rest easy knowing that someone else is protecting your network, and it is cheaper than and easier than doing it yourself.  It isn’t surprising that 70 percent of CIOs partnered with outside experts to plan manageable growth in 2018, find out what we can do for you today.

Experience The Current Technologies Advantage

Name *
Name

We Value Your Feedback

Was this information helpful?
Was this an interesting read?
CurrentTech_Horizontal.jpg

Worried About Defending Your Data From Hackers?

defending data.jpeg

Why the Best Defense Against Viruses Might be Off Site


If you’ve handed over responsibility for your IT to a managed service provider (MSP), the decision probably included the following considerations.

  • They’re experts.
  • It’s cheaper.
  • You don’t need to have as many (or any) IT employees in your office.

It can feel like a huge weight is off your shoulders, but for your MSP to make those things true, it needs tools. One of them is remote monitoring and management (RMM) software. Being able to access and service your systems from their office, not yours, is part of what makes managed service providers so cost effective and it saves everybody time.

What is RMM?

You might have heard of RMM as “network management” or “remote service software.” Whatever you call it, it’s software that lets MSPs remotely monitor client endpoints, networks, and computers.

RMM is particularly important when it comes to your security. With malicious code becoming a faster-moving problem every year, you want every device patched and secured without waiting for a technician to make the rounds.

Enter the Agent

RMM works through a piece of software—called an agent—that is installed by your MSP on workstations, servers, mobile devices, and other endpoints. These bits of software feed information back to the MSP about the machine’s health and status.

With this information, the MSP can see what’s going on in your network. It can target endpoints that need maintenance or updating. It can see where issues are about to happen and act on them without needing to go to your office. That’s less inconvenient for you, and it keeps down the MSP’s costs, which it can pass on to you.

The ability to keep your security up to date is especially beneficial to both parties. When an MSP contract includes support through a security breach, the costs to both the client and the MSP can mount quickly. Both parties have a vested interest in keeping anti-virus software up to date and patching holes before there’s a problem.

Raising Alarms

Your MSP doesn’t need to have someone sitting in front of a screen to keep an eye on your system 24/7. That’s what the agent is for.

When an agent finds a problem, like a virus or other malicious code it creates an alert or opens a ticket that is sent to the MSP so it can take the action that’s needed.

First and Fast

In short, RMM is essential if your MSP is to keep your network secure. It’s going to alert the MSP to issues before they arise, and if something does slip through the net, the MSP will get an early warning to fix it.

Why the Best Off Site Defense Solution is Current Technologies

Current Technologies has been providing businesses in the Chicago land area and beyond with superior IT services for 20 years. Offering companies a hybrid solution of regularly scheduled onsite maintenance visits with a specifically assigned consultant, along with 24/7 remote monitoring and support we can deliver an IT Service framework that is among the best in the industry. Current Technologies uses top of the line Auvik monitoring software to ensure your data is safe as can be. With this level of protection you will be able to rest easy at night knowing your information is secure.

Check out our infrastructure management overview PDF below to see all of the ways Current Technologies can help your business run safer and smoother.

Get Protected Before it's too Late

Name *
Name
We pride ourselves on having the capabilities of a large firm while still providing the personal attention of a small firm
— Phil Hanson, Project & Service Manager- Current Technologies Corporation

We Value Your Feedback!

Was this information helpful?
Was this an interesting read?
CurrentTech_Horizontal.jpg

Choosing The Right MSP

Computer Maintenance.jpeg

What you Should Look for in a Managed Service Provider


IT departments are under pressure to meet user demands, minimize risk, and keep costs under budget. There is also pressure to incorporate new technological innovations, which often require expertise and in-depth knowledge. It isn’t surprising that 70 percent of CIOs partnered with outside experts to plan manageable growth in 2017.

The attraction of taking on a managed services provider (MSP) in IT is evident, but the costs of taking on the wrong partner could be high. So how do you choose the right MSP?

1. What are they Asking you?

This is not a one-way street. The MSP you want to work with is the one asking how they can improve your business. It shows they care. It shows you are a company they want to work with. Most importantly, if they do not ask the right questions, how are they going to get your IT right?

2. How Closely will they be Watching you?

You can have an MSP monitoring your systems remotely 24/7 all year round. So why would you choose anything less? You want to know about problems when and where they happen, not just in business hours and after the weekend.

3. Your Place or Theirs?

You want an MSP that can support you remotely when that works, but that will come to you when it does not. Current Technologies offers remote service within one hour of network emergencies and can also be onsite within four hours to remedy the most severe IT emergency.

4. Support all day Every day

Chances are 9-to-5 is not even a memory for much of your workforce. Your employees need IT support when they need it whether it is during normal business hours or not.

5. Tracking

A good MSP will be able to report on the health of your assets and whether they are being used compliantly. Current Technologies leverages Auvik Network Monitoring to ensure all critical endpoints on your network are being closely monitored. For more information on how Auvik monitoring software can help your business, check out the PDF at the bottom of the article.

6. Thinking Business

Leading MSPs offer a virtual CIO to help with budgeting, analysis of potential business impacts, and reporting on technology performance. Again, why would you not want that if it is available? Current Technologies offers complementary CIO consulting as an added service to all customers.

7. Track Record

This one speaks for itself. Either your MSP has a track record you can check, or they do not. Go with what you can prove. 

8. Deeper and Deeper

You want more than operating system maintenance and availability management. Ask about skills in managing change, cloud, cross-platform integration, mobility, security and anything else that might be on your radar in the next three years.

9. Industry Understanding

Understanding IT is bread and butter to an MSP. The MSP you want is one that understands your industry as well. A great MSP is a partner, and a great partner makes suggestions beyond the scope of day-to-day operations. The best recommendations will come from an MSP that knows your business.

The Current Technologies Advantage

Current Technologies can offer you all of the features listed above and more. For 20 years now our team has been providing regularly scheduled onsite maintenance along with remote monitoring and support for 24/7 coverage of your specific IT needs. Current Technologies will provide your business with a specifically assigned consultant to your account as well as unlimited remote proactive monitoring management services and regularly scheduled technology review, planning, and strategy meetings.

For more information, check out our infrastructure management PDF below

 

The Choice is clear, Contact us now to get Started

Name *
Name
We pride ourselves on having the capabilities of a large firm while still providing the personal attention of a small firm
— Phil Hanson, Project & Service Manager - Current Technologies Corporation

We Value Your Feedback!

Was this information helpful?
Was this an interesting read?
CurrentTech_Horizontal.jpg