data recovery

Data Recovery: How To Safely Backup Data

Data Recovery: How To Safely Backup Data

That heart-wrenching feeling; your heart all but stops, beads of sweat pour down your forehead and you start to wonder when last you did a fully-fledged backup. All your data is gone – photographs, e-mails, documents, music, movies. All of it.

Data loss can be caused by a number of factors, but the most common is a software failure. You’ve accidentally hit “delete” on an important folder and emptied the recycle bin, or perhaps you’ve formatted the wrong drive by mistake.

However, the most common cause of data loss is a fault with the hard drive itself. When the hard disk drive suffers from some form of failure, there is more often than not sweet nothing you can do about it – yourself. You’d need to call in data recovery experts. Here are some tips to try before calling in those experts, though:

h/t to lifehacker.com for the info!

Data Recovery Software

“When dealing with a software-related data loss, the first and most important thing to keep in mind is not to work with the affected hard drive. Your operating system is reading and writing to your drive constantly, whether you’re actively doing something or not. Now that your system is seeing the deleted data as ‘free space’ it will happily overwrite this area—along with your chances of recovery.”

Data Recovery Hardware

“What happens if your drive is not even being detected by your machine? Or your machine can see the drive, but just hangs when you try to access it? What if the drive is completely dead and won’t even spin up? Examining the components of a drive allows us to see which components could be at fault –  and how to detect each:

PCB: This is the well-known green circuit board attached to the bottom of your drive. It houses the main controller (the equivalent of your computer’s CPU) along with many other electronic controllers.

Platters: Your drive contains one or more thin, circular platters. These spin around at anywhere between 5,900rpm to 7,200rpm on consumer drives and are the media that actually store your data.

Head assembly: Data from your drives’ platters is read by means of a series of read and write heads. While in operation, these heads are not actually in contact with the surface of the platters. Typically a drive will have 2 heads per platter, so a large capacity drive with 3 platters will be paired up with 6 heads, one for each side of each platter

Firmware: Your drive runs its own mini operating system in order to deal with all of the data and operations required to access it. Most of this firmware is stored on the platters. A small portion is stored on the PCB, which is required when the drive starts up.

 

How Can I Tell If My Hardware Is Faulty?

  • Your Drive Isn’t Spinning Up At All

This is the one instance where you have a relatively good chance of resurrecting your drive if you’re prepared to put in some time and effort. If the drive does absolutely nothing when you apply power to it (no noises at all), it is 99% a PCB problem.

  • Your Drive Is Spinning Up and Making Clicking Noises

This is a serious failure and indicates a failed head or heads. It could also mean that your drive has suffered from platter damage if a head crash has occurred. Either way, this is a job for the pros.

  • Your Drives Spins Ups and Is Detected by Your Computer, But Hangs When You Try to Access It

This usually means that the magnetic media is degraded. This is a common problem that occurs over time and can be worked around, but only with professional data recovery equipment, more specifically a hard imager.

  • Your Drive Makes a Beeping Sound When You Power it Up

The beeping sounds you are hearing is the motor trying to spin the drive up and failing to do so. This is caused by one of two things, both serious mechanical failures. The drive needs to be opened up in the lab, heads carefully removed and most likely replaced, definitely not a DIY job.

  • Your Drive Sounds Normal but is Not Detected, or is Detected as the Wrong Capacity

This normally indicates a problem with some area of the firmware. Either it’s not being read properly which could actually be head problem, or there is some corruption that needs to be resolved. There is nothing that the end user can do but to send your drive in for professional help.

Credit to lifehacker.com for the information sourced in this article!

 

Need to get in touch with the pros? Click here to get in touch with SwitchedOn IT today!

 

Cover Image Credit: TechRadar

data migration

Data Migration Process: What Is Data Migration and How Can It Help My Business?

Data Migration Process: What Is Data Migration and How Can It Help My Business?

“Data migration is the process of transferring data between data storage systems, data formats or computer systems. A data migration project is done for numerous reasons, which include replacing or upgrading servers or storage equipment, moving data to third-party cloud providers, website consolidation, infrastructure maintenance, application or database migration, software upgrades, company mergers or data centre relocation.”

What Types of Data Migration Are There?

  • Storage migration’s process involves moving blocks of storage and files from one storage system to another, whether it is on disk, tape or the cloud.
  • Database migration is done when there is a need to change database vendors, upgrade the database software or move a database to the cloud. Compatibility problems can occur during the migration process, so it is important to test the process first.
  • Application migration can occur when switching to another vendor application or platform. This process has its own inherent layers of complexity because applications interact with other applications, and each one has its own data model. Applications are not designed to be portable.
  • Cloud migration is a major technology trend, as the cloud provides on-demand flexibility. Public cloud providers offer a variety of services for storage, database and application migrations.

How to Safely Migrate Data

  • Understand what data you are migrating, where it lives, what form it’s in and the form it will take at its new destination.
  • Extract, transform and de-duplicate data before moving it.
  • Test and validate the migrated data to ensure it is accurate.
  • Audit and document the entire data migration process.

 

Looking for professional advice? Click here to get in touch with us today!

 

h/t to searchstorage techtarget for the info!

 

Cover Image Credit: Virtualization Review

Cloud Backup vs Traditional Backup

Cloud Backup vs Traditional Backup: Which Is Safer?

Cloud Backup vs Traditional Backup: Which Is Safer?

Cloud storage backup is a strategy for backing up data that involves removing data offsite to a managed service provider for protection. It can either replace or complement on-premise backups. Many enterprises have stuck by their tried and tested methods of backing up their data (and servers) to an on-site, tangible hard drive. With the threat of cyber-attacks and malware ever present, the need for off-site storage has increased exponentially.

What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Based Backup?

You broaden your storage capacity with offsite storage.

Backing up your data to a backup-centre other than your premises eliminates the threat of disasters such as fire and theft impacting the safety of your backed-up data.

  • Increased security

All backups are encrypted before leaving your offices which means that your data stored with is 100% secure – even if stolen.

  • It is a far cheaper solution

Cloud computing allows business to consume more IT while keeping costs down. Business now has a cost-effective reason to implement proper backup – there is no need to spend money on physical backups, only the fee for cloud-based storage (which is usually cheaper, the more data you add).

  • Automated backups ensure nothing is left to chance

By removing the human element from your backups you can rest assured that backups are taken care of 365 days a year.

  • The biggest possible threat is cloud-based malware; while this threat is present everywhere, the added step of encrypting your data will safeguard you from such an event.

What Methods are used in Cloud Backups?

Physical or cloud environment to cloud mirroring

“The cloud is elastic, so you can deploy your disaster recovery plan in a number of ways. You can have two environments: one physical and one cloud. Or, you can have two clouds that are live and replicate between them. Special software replicates between two environments — a source and target. The software ensures the target environment will match the source environment. In this scenario, you achieve high availability, rapid recovery, minimal data loss, and the ability to scale with your needs without all the capital expenditures on hardware and software. You will still have to license the dual environments, as well as the replication software. However, it is a robust option, especially for highly transactional applications.”

 Recovery Cloud

“If you need more than daily backups to ensure business continuity and compliance, Peak 10’s Recovery Cloud is a great option.  Unlike an active/active scenario, use of the Recovery Cloud means you won’t have to pay for licensing of software except in a disaster. Plus, there is no expensive hardware to buy and maintain, downtime is minimal and there is minimal data loss. Your data can be in an on-premise data center, colocated in a Peak 10 data center, or in a Peak 10 cloud environment. With the Recovery Cloud, your data is continuously protected as it changes. This helps ensure a rapid recovery with minimal data loss. Because the Recovery Cloud is a fully managed service, our staff will begin spinning up your virtual machines (VMs) to the cloud within an hour of a disaster declaration and will have you up and running in four hours.

While the Recovery Cloud may be more expensive than just doing a traditional backup, it delivers a recovery solution that protects, recovers, reports and automates your IT disaster recovery plan.”

 

What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of On-Site/ Traditional Backup?

Traditional data backup involves creating one (or more) copies of an original file to be accessed and / or used should the original file become lost or corrupted.

Some benefits are the ability to instantly recover data (if the files are accessible form a corrupted hard drive) and being able to manually perform backups. This may not be considered an advantage by many, as the human element sometimes fails us in being “on the ball” in terms of routine backups. The threats of backing up your data the traditional way alone far outweigh the benefits, so we would always suggest the addition of cloud-based backup to ensure you are at no stage compromised in your data recovery efforts.

 

What Methods are used in Traditional Backups?

Daily data backup to tape or disk

“Daily data backups are the mainstay of disaster recovery. It’s a scheduled event that is highly effective in ensuring you have all of your data, and it is relatively inexpensive to do.  However, you will need to consider the potential loss of data between the last backup and the event that forced you to failover. Can you afford to lose that data? Backups can be slow and sometimes difficult to restore, because the restoration environment must exactly match the backed up environment. With this method, you’re managing your own failover/failback. Do you have sufficient IT resources to rebuild your network, provision hardware, stage the recovery platform, and recover data before downtime affects your business?”

 

Off-site mirrored physical servers

“Another option is the use of mirrored servers. This method is great in terms of recovery time, because there’s no restoration required. Mirroring is done in real time so transactions on system A are immediately sent to system B. There is very little difference between production and your mirrored environment. In fact, administrators generally get to do everything twice: purchase, patch, upgrade, and perform other system maintenance procedures that can require extensive tracking and change management. The downside of a mirrored server strategy is the cost, which can be formidable (2x – 5x the cost of the production systems). Purchasing and maintaining identical equipment, substantial connectivity between systems, space and cooling for all the hardware, advanced mirroring software and specialized technical staff are prohibitively expensive for many companies. If you are contemplating expansion of your business, this may prove burdensome to scale.”

 

h/t to peak10.com for info!

 

Click here to get in touch with us today and secure your data with our cloud-backup solutions.

 

 

Cover Image Credit: Cloud Source

voip vs fixed line

VoIP vs Fixed Line: Which Is Better for Costs, Functionality and Reliability?

VoIP vs Fixed Line: Which Is Better for Costs, Functionality and Reliability?

We’ve previously discussed the benefits and features of VoIP at length (click here to read about it) – and we thought we’d put it to the test. Comparing VoIP side by side with a fixed line telephonic transmissions is probably the quickest away to help anyone decide which of the two to opt for – when presented with the choice.

Difference Between VoIP and Fixed Line

“A landline involves the use of a copper phone line to connect your home or office to the phone network (service provider). Telephone companies have local networks that serve different cities and localities. When you place a call, it travels through your local network’s digital switches to the public telephone network. Your call travels through this network to reach the number you call.”

“VoIP technology involves the conversion of analogue voice calls into a digital format to relay over the Internet. In order to make use of VoIP, typically consumers need an adapter that will connect their phone line to an Internet modem. There are also phones designed specifically for VoIP use. Also, you will need an Internet connection, typically a broadband connection.”

In layman’s terms – a fixed landline relies entirely on the actual copper phone line to transmit and receive phone calls. This is likely why a higher cost is associated with fixed line telephone systems – as you need to consider the charge for maintenance of infrastructure, skilled salaried workers to monitor transmission, fix groundwork errors – there is a lot of work that goes into maintaining copper telephone lines; there is also the risk of natural disasters, motor collisions and un-maintained phone lines falling over, or ceasing to work.

A VoIP system relies on the internet (nowadays, what doesn’t rely on the internet, really?) to quickly and cheaply transmit those same calls; this frees up a lot of resources one would typically associate with fixed line, it allow for faster and more reliable transmission and makes business sense.

A VoIP solution will always be geared towards a business or enterprise, requiring multiple lines, extensions and branches located far away from one another. In this type of situation, VoIP is almost guaranteed to save you money on your monthly phone bill. Choosing the right service provider means you’ll have added benefits, such as free calls between branches, call recordings, conference calls, music on hold, voicemail as well as auto attendant. Sounds like a pretty good deal so far!

Home users will likely not save when using VoIP solutions; there would be far too many useful features to waste on a home phone that receives maybe 2, 3 (or if you’re prone to sales calls, maybe 10) calls a day – and the cost of a full VoIP solution will likely be far higher than your average monthly phone bill.

 

Cloud Based VoIP

VoIP works over a standard data network, to which your computers are connected. Larger VoIP requirements include a free managed firewall which allows the implementation of auto fail over to your secondary internet connection keeping your voice online for longer.

Because your traditional PBX is now software based and hosted in the cloud hardware failures are a thing of the past – as all management and maintenance of the system is included with your subscription.

 

If you’re looking for a full VoIP solution for your business, click here to get in touch today!

 

Cover Image Credit: Foretech Network 

satellite internet

Satellite Internet – What Is It and Who Could Benefit From It?

Satellite Internet – What Is It and Who Could Benefit From It?

“Satellite Internet is the ability to transmit and receive data from a relatively small satellite dish on Earth and communicate with an orbiting geostationary satellite almost 36 000km above Earth’s equator. The orbiting satellite transmits (and receives) its information to a location on Earth called the Network Operations Center or NOC (pronounced “knock”). The NOC itself is connected to the Internet (or private network), so all communication made from a satellite dish to the orbiting satellite will flow through the NOC before it reached the Internet.”

South Africa has come a far way with the introduction of high-speed fibre – which is currently the most popular choice for business owners when it comes to choosing their type of business internet solution. However, high-speed fibre is limited in the aspect of availability. While you may very well have fibre installed in your area, you may not feel comfortable in choosing the service provider associated. Inversely, your business may be located in an area where fibre is not viable, or there are no short-term plans to have it made available.

So what do you do in a circumstance like that? If you are comfortable in using Wireless or Traditional ADSL – this may be the best option for you. But if your operational requirement necessitates a more reliable and faster connection than that, a satellite internet solution may be the best thing since, well, fibre!

Who Can Get Satellite Internet?

The good news is – everyone can get it! Because of the nature of how satellite internet works – you basically just need to meet the minimum requirement of being on earth. Once you have that covered – you’re good to go!

Benefits of Satellite Internet

Global Coverage

“This is the most significant advantage of using satellite links – coverage at any location on Earth. A single satellite in the geostationary orbit can cover distances as large as whole oceans or continents. This wide area coverage makes high-speed Internet access from remote locations quick and easy. It is also possible to connect many remote locations spread across large distances through a secure private link.”

High Speed Access

“The first thing you would notice about satellite Internet is speed. Most satellite internet providers can provide multi-megabit speeds which can be sometimes faster than terrestrial options. If the options available are limited, such as dial-up or unreliable/slow DSL, satellite is the clear winner.” 

Cost Effective

“It costs anywhere between R 135 000.00 –  R 1 400 000.00 to lay 2km of fibre in an unserved location. In addition to the high investment, it may take several months to complete the fibre deployment and make it available to individual locations. If you do not have access to reliable terrestrial connectivity, satellite is the most cost-effective means of high-speed Internet access.”

Location Independent

“Having a broadband connection at any location is great, the advantage of taking it anywhere is even better.

Internet via satellite is possible through fixed and mobile equipment. The end user location is connected to the Internet as long as the satellite dish has a clear line of “

 

Reliability

“As the satellite network consists of only a satellite, teleport, NOC and satellite terminal, the number of opportunities for network outages are significantly reduced. Compared to terrestrial networks, there is much less opportunity for network outages. With terrestrial services (cable or DSL), network outages can occur at any point along the infrastructure.

A complete satellite network can work independently off terrestrial infrastructure and maintain connectivity as long as the equipment is powered.”

 

Keen to find out more about Satellite Internet in South Africa? Click here to get in touch with SwitchedOn IT today!

 

h/t to groundcontrol.com and vsatsystems.com for the information  sourced!

 

Cover Image Credit: Bandwidth Place 

adsl for business

ADSL For Business – All Round Solution or Out-Dated Technology?

ADSL For Business – All Round Solution or Out-dated Technology?

“Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) is a type of digital subscriber line (DSL) technology, a data communications technology that enables faster data transmission over copper telephone lines than a conventional voice band modem can provide”.

DSL is the modern equivalent to line-connected internet solutions, and has been the go-to for many households and businesses throughout South Africa for a number of years, but since the roll out of high-speed fibre, more consumers have opted for the more reliable, quicker internet solution. Fibre is limited though – with the installation of fibre cables only installed in selected areas, it makes it hard for the average user to either commit to waiting for their area to be serviced, or opting for another solution in the interim.

Businesses cannot be without internet, so their choice is often decided by this factor. With the absence of high-speed fibre options, many businesses have chosen to remain DSL customers.

How Does DSL Work?

DSL which stands for Digital Subscriber Line is a service offered by the fixed line operators in South Africa which allows you connect to the internet over your telephone line.

Coverage on DSL

Due to the massive size of Telkom’s fixed line network, you should have no problem qualifying for a DSL line and as most customers do currently have DSL lines installed you can switch to our DSL accounts with ease.

Best Effort Service

DSL is unfortunately a “best effort” service which means there are no guarantees that you will qualify for the highest speeds and enjoy a consistent experience which means it cannot be used for mission critical services.

What Are The Main Features of DSL?

Cost Effective Solution

DSL is and remains one of the cheapest ways to connect to the internet in South Africa

Up To 40mbps Download

If your area supports VDSL you can enjoy download speeds of up to 40Mbps.

No Contracts

Our DSL packages run on a month to month agreement, all you need to do is give notice that you wish to cancel.

Ideal For Home Users And Small Businesses

Our DSL accounts come in 2 flavours: consumer and business.

If you would like a DSL service provider with the right experience and qualifications to help take your business internet further, click here to get in touch today!

Cover Image Credit: MyBroadband

IT Services For Small Businesses

IT Services For Small Businesses – Why You Need Professionals at Any Size Business

IT Services For Small Businesses – Why You Need Professionals at Any Size Business

Smaller businesses, whether just starting up – or forming part of a long-standing enterprise – requires some form of IT solution; you are the expert in your specific field, so why not call in the experts in their respective fields to ensure you are always on, always safe and always ready for whatever comes next?

Simply performing routine backups to external hard drives and trouble shooting your own IT problems may have worked for you up until this point, but technological advancements are making it easier for cyber-attacks to occur, putting smaller businesses at a far higher risk.

Large corporates have all possible measures in place to ensure all their employees are protected, their data is secured and they have proactive measures in place (e.g., – firewalls, anti-virus and spam filters) – so why exempt yourself from the same benefits they enjoy?

Small Business IT Support Tips

“Every business has different IT support requirements. That makes defining what you really need an important part of the selection process.”

“The business owner should decide what result he or she wants to achieve and determine how frequently it’s required. That process can guide them in finding the best solution for the best price.”

Your IT support options can involve farming out specific tasks or activities—from setting up computers and networks to keeping everything up and running to email set up and support—or specifically addressing backup or security. These days, there’s so much flak from spyware, popups and viruses that it’s smart to have someone on call to deal with the consequences.

But IT support needs are not a static thing. As your business grows, the level of support that you need from vendors may change as the business matures. Further, you need to calculate the cost of not bringing in help.

“When selecting the level of support for a service, you need to think about how much you are losing each hour due to down time.”

h/t to smallbusinesscomputing.com for this info!

 

Outsourcing Small Business IT Solutions

“For many small business owners, outsourcing their IT support needs may seem extravagant due to the hourly rate that such companies charge. However, this type of support can be extremely cost-effective because of the expertise being purchased, the experience the techs who visit are able to offer, and the backup provided by the team that supports them. Further, as a small business owner, you should easily be able to budget for the monthly expense, based on the system evaluation and recommendations of the company you employ as your IT support team.

A responsible IT support company will always begin with an objective assessment of your information system, along with recommendations for the work they will perform to meet your needs. In other words, they will not “pad” the bill, but will only perform the tasks you request of them. This can greatly reduce the cost of IT support for your small business, rather than hiring an in-house tech and paying an annual salary, as discussed above.

Beyond this, a reputable IT support company will guarantee the expertise of the tech they send you. The tech will also possess a great deal more experience than an employee, as they deal with a variety of systems every day. In most cases, there will be little they have not seen, which will allow them to handle your specific needs more efficiently. Further, they will most likely assign a particular technician to your account, someone who will visit you regularly, allowing them to become intimately familiar with your information system and the needs of your business, and with whom you will build a relationship of trust over time.”

h/t to nssit.com for the information sourced here!

 

Why not get in touch with SwitchedOn IT today? We’ll assess your small business IT needs and tailor a solution that suits your requirements and your budget! Click here to have a consultant call you today!

Cover Image Credit: Nimble.com

Business Internet

Business Internet: What Type of Internet Solution is best for Your Business?

Business Internet: What Type of Internet Solution is best for Your Business?

Some might argue that “internet is internet”; stop them in their tracks! The new millennium brought with it technological advancements that we have not seen before. Cloud storage was a distant, imaginative thought not even a decade ago, and is now at the crux of data storage: the internet is no different.

The methods we use to access the internet are almost as important as the work we do through it. But, what type of internet connection is going to benefit your company the most, and allow you to “get to the next level”?

There are five main factors when selecting your internet solutions:

  • Speed – how fast is your upload/ download speed? This can have a great impact on the efficiency your staff will have in getting work done, and getting it done fast.
  • Reliability – knowing you can come in every morning and have reliable, uninterrupted internet access is music to the ears of anyone who has experienced a slow and “lagging” connection.
  • Support – is this type of internet connection associated with problems? Best you have backup and support readily available, through trained technicians who can troubleshoot and get you back on your feet faster than it took for the problem to appear in the first place.
  • Cost – while higher speeds and reliability usually comes with a higher price tag, there are affordable ways to have the best solution for your company. Understanding the benefits of each type of business internet solution will allow you to choose to pay for better, to save money and op[t for a different type of solution.
  • Availability – not all internet solutions are available in every neighbourhood. While you might have your heart set on installing fibre, there may simply not be the infrastructure in place where you are located as yet. Ensure you know what type of infrastructure is available in your area before you embark on a journey to finding the right type of internet!

What Types of Business Internet Can I Choose From?

1) Optical Fiber

The only true way to experience the awesomeness of the internet! What can you expect from this type of internet solution from SwitchedOnIT?

High Speed Internet – Fiber allows us to deliver connections to your business up to 1Gbps per second. That’s around 1000 times faster than an entry level ADSL package.

Priority Support- Our fiber packages come with priority support and flexible SLAs to meet your business needs and keep your staff connected at all times.

Flexible Packages – Through our various partners we can offer you a package that meets your needs and suits your budget.

Download = Upload – Our enterprise fiber packages not only allow for high download speeds but also high upload speeds.

 

What is fiber?

Optical fiber is a small stand of glass thinner than a human hair through which information can be transferred in the form of light, this allow for greater bandwidth and lower latency which means information can be transmitted much faster.

What are the advantages of fiber?

Fiber allows for much higher speeds then DSL or wireless connections.

One of the advantages of fiber over traditional copper based connections is that the cable has very little value if stolen which eliminates one of the biggest problems we face in South Africa which is cable theft. This means less interruptions to your business.

Fiber is also less prone to interference – which results in consistent performance.

Fiber availability?

Fiber is currently being rolled out aggressively by various network operators in major cities such as Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape  Town, Durban and the surrounding areas. Unfortunately we as a country are still in the early stages of making this technology available to all which means not all customers will qualify for this service, please contact our sales department to see if you qualify.

 

2) Wireless

Greater Coverage Map

What’s the biggest difference between fiber and wireless? Microwave Wireless has a far larger coverage map than fiber. What can you expect when opting for wireless enterprise solutions through SwitchedOnIT? 

Priority Support – As with fiber our Microwave customer can enjoy priority support on outages and issues

Managed Firewall – All packages include a managed firewall with the option to upgrade to a UTM (Unified Threat Management) device. 

Better Upload Speeds – While download speeds won’t be as high as fiber our wireless links do offer superior upload speeds compared to traditional DSL.

 

What is Microwave Wireless?

Microwave Wireless allows internet access by means of a line of sight connection from your premises to one of our high sights, this means your building does not require any physical connections to be laid. Because the connection is made over a direct line of sight your connections is not prone to interference from weather elements.

Wireless can either be installed using the public spectrum or alternatively on a licensed spectrum, though the licensed option is more expensive it does allow for superior connections.

 

What is the coverage like when using wireless?

Microwave has a far greater coverage map compared to fiber but is limited to whether a high sight is visible from your building. Prior to any proposals being sent a qualified wireless engineer will perform a site survey from your building to ensure that the connection is possible and will remain stable.

 

3) Traditional DSL

Cost Effective Solution  – DSL is and remains one of the cheapest ways to connect to the internet in South Africa.

Up To 40mbps Download – If your area supports VDSL you can enjoy download speeds of up to 40Mbps

No Contracts – Our DSL packages run on a month to month agreement, all you need to do is give notice that you wish to cancel.

Ideal For Home Users And Small Businesses – Our DSL accounts comes in 2 “flavors”: consumer and business.

 

How does DSL work?

DSL which stands for Digital Subscriber Line is a service offered by the fixed line operators in South Africa which allows you connect to the internet over your telephone line.

 

What is the coverage like with DSL?

Due to the massive size of Telkom’s fixed line network you should have no problem qualifying for a DSL line and as most customers do currently have DSL lines installed you can switch to our DSL accounts with ease. If you don’t currently have a line from Telkom installed click here to check if you are covered.

Best effort service

DSL is unfortunately a “best effort” service which means there are no guarantees that you will qualify for the highest speeds and enjoy a consistent experience which means it cannot be used for mission critical services.

 

For this reason we recommend using DSL as a last resort.

 

If you need any advice, suggestions or for a professional to guide you through choosing any of SwitchedOnIT’s solutions, click here to get in touch!

 

 

Cover Image Credit: DomainNewsAfrica

data protection

Data Protection for Business: How Should An IT Enterprise Protect Your Data?

Data Protection for Business: How Should An IT Enterprise Protect Your Data?

Data is arguably one of the most important and targeted “resources” in our current technological times; cyber attacks, with the likes of WannaCry, have seen some of the biggest systems- including the NHS – brought to their knees.

Ransom ware and malware alike are able to cripple the online and day-to-day running of any business, should there not be systems in place to prevent this type of attack. Encrypting files and holding them for ransom is only the tip of the iceberg, and if your company is not “at-the-ready” to mitigate this type of attack, you could be facing disastrous consequences sooner than you would like to imagine.

How Can An Online Backup System Potentially Save Your Business?

“Imagine someone holding all your business data to ransom. Is this even possible? Sadly, yes. Ransomware programs typically encrypt user files on computers (including those with pdf, docx, and the other commonly used extensions). You receive a message demanding ‘ransom’ which is typically demanded in dollars or Bitcoins. You are given details of an account into which to pay, and if you stall, the price increases. Should you pay, you never know whether the key you are given, will unlock your data or not! With a Cloud based backup system, your data would still be safe and sound.”

 

Save your data, save your business

“According to Carte Blanche, damage due to ransom ware was sitting at the R1.2 billion mark in 2015, with attacks on the increase. The good news is that businesses do not need to fall victim to this extortion provided that they outsource their data backup to a reputable company offering secure data storage in the cloud. In this way, criminals are not able to access sensitive data and confidential company information, and viruses cannot cause irreparable harm to the running of your business.”

 

Save time, save money

Another advantage to a Cloud based backup system is that backups are fully automated, freeing up time spent by the business owner and his or her team, on arduous manual backups. Not only is money saved in terms of time spent doing physical backups; money can also be saved when using a credible cloud storage solution, in that the more data there is to be backed up, the cheaper the process becomes, per gig.

 

Automatic backups: good business practice

The risks associated with physical data backup to external hard drives and tape drives, are completely eliminated. Theft is no longer an issue – neither are physical disasters such as flooding or fire.

They say that ‘assumption is the lowest form of communication’, and in the case of one employee believing that another employee performed the backup the previous night, this is all too real! With cloud backup, human error is a thing of the past. A good cloud backup system automatically backs up data every night.

A backup is only as good as its restore test. A great backup system should perform integrity checks automatically, every single night, offering business owners peace of mind that all their data is perfectly safe, no matter what.

 

What Are The Features of Online Backup?

  • Offsite Storage

Backing up your data to a backup-centre other than your premises protects you against disasters such as fire and theft

  • Security

All backups are encrypted before leaving your offices which means that your data stored with us is 100% secure even if stolen.

  • Cost Effective

Cloud computing allows business to consume more IT while keeping costs down. Business now has a cost-effective reason to implement proper backup

  • Automated

By removing the human element from your backups you can rest assured that backups are taken care of 365 days a year.

 

Why not get in touch with us at SwitchedOnIT to see if we can help you secure your data effectively and efficiently? Click here to contact a friendly consultant today.

Cover Image Credit: The Nasstarian

Upgrading IT Systems in an Organisation

Upgrading IT Systems in an Organisation: How SwitchedOnIT Can Help the Process

Upgrading IT Systems in an Organisation: How SwitchedOnIT Can Help the Process

Upgrading your IT systems within your business is not simply a security measure; it can (and will) aide in employee productivity, data integrity – as well as the two-fold benefit of reduced costs and reduced threats.

“Upgrading employee software is often viewed as an unnecessary expense that only gives employees bells and whistles that they do not need or will find difficult to use. The decision to upgrade software is a business decision that must be examined like any other decision. However, some of the benefits of upgrading employee software do not show up explicitly on an accounting record or annual report. Often, these are the reasons many employees continue to use out-dated software.”

How Can Upgrading IT Systems Help a Company?

  1. Upgrading Your Office Software Can Help Improve Security

“The longer a software package has been around and the more popular the software package is, the more the software represents a security risk. Over the useful life of a software package, security holes and the malicious viruses that take advantage of them make a long list of reasons to upgrade to newer and more secure versions of the same software.

Typically, more recent versions of software are safer from a security standpoint, guarding against the security issues present in previous versions. Increased security means less downtime for employees who must wait for a security issue to be resolved before continuing with their work. Lost files can take many hours to recover and, in the meantime, ideas and morale can suffer. Upgrading software can be a preventive prescription to disaster caused by impending security issues.”

  1. Upgrading Your Office Software Can Help Reduce Costs

“Although usually associated with hardware, out-dated software is also more expensive to maintain than newer versions. As companies grow, hardware and software must grow with them to face increasing demands of productivity. Failing software (as well as hardware) increases costs by overloading help desk personnel with software related failures.

Newer software versions typically reduce or eliminate the problems users faced with previous versions. Failure rates are lower for newer versus older software resulting in fewer service tickets, higher productivity, and lower stress levels experienced by employees. Smoother sailing is the result of investing in software upgrades.”

  1. Upgrading Your Office Software Can Help Increase Productivity

“As software evolves from version to version, it often becomes more streamlined, easier to use, and more intuitive to put to work. Since employee salaries are a major portion of business expenses, upgrading software is synonymous with investing in employee productivity.”

 

Need a quote for ad-hoc, on-site system upgrades or overhauls? Click here to get in touch with us today!

Thanks to brighthub.com for the information sourced in this article