The Meridian Blog: Tech News, Tips & More for SMB and Enterprise Environments

No More Excuses: Erase Tape Backups From Your Business Continuity Plan

Erjon Xhepa

Posted by Erjon Xhepa
Tue, Dec 20, 2016

I saw a payphone last week, and it wasn’t even in a museum...

It reminded me of how we're sometimes slow to embrace technological advances. First, there was resistance to cell phones (the brick-sized Iridium phone didn’t help the cause). Then, there was recognition that big change was on the way (massive advertising didn’t hurt). Today, most of us wouldn't even leave home without our smartphones.

In fact, mobile phone adoption is so widespread that some people even develop Nomophobia, or the fear of being without a mobile phone. Even more surprising is the fact that — according to the UN — worldwide, there are more people with mobile phones than there are people with access to toilets. Which segues into today’s blog topic: magnetic tape data backup systems.

Magnetic tape as a backup storage medium is still used by many today, and it may never go away completely, just like green screens and typewriters can still be found in some offices (and museums). But, the Digital Age is upon us, and it’s time to embrace disk drive storage and really embrace cloud-based backups, and let magnetic tape go the way of the payphone.

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An Introduction to Software as a Service (SaaS)

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Thu, Feb 18, 2016

According to Gartner, Software as a Service (SaaS) is "software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers. The provider delivers software based on one set of common code and data definitions that is consumed in a one-to-many model by all contracted customers at anytime on a pay-for-use basis or as a subscription based on use metrics."

So what exactly does all that tech-jargon mean?

Put simply, SaaS is a way of delivering software applications over the internet, instead of physically installing and maintaining the software on-site, either on a server or right on your personal workstation.

SaaS can also be referred to as hosted, on-demand, or web-based software. It runs on the SaaS provider's servers, and all users need in order to access it is an internet connection. The SaaS provider manages all of the hardware and security updates.

Bottom line? In addition to finally freeing you from CD cases, organizers and readers for good, SaaS has some key advantages, which I've outlined below.

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Business Continuity Planning: Don't settle for satisficing

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Tue, Jan 12, 2016

When choosing or creating a business continuity plan suitable for your organization, “satisficing” is not a viable option.

Simply put, satisficing is accepting an available option as satisfactory. The trouble with that is, when your business continuity plan only reaches satisfactory levels, you are choosing to sacrifice your company’s ability to deliver products or services in the event of a disaster or disruptive incident. So, when thinking of your company’s long-term success and all of the hard work that was put into it, settling for satisficing could be disasterous.

Read on for ways you can protect your data and choose the best partner to assist in creating an ideal business continuity plan for your organization.

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Best Practices for Secure, Responsible Disposal of Computers & Devices

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Wed, Dec 23, 2015

Many people will purchase or receive new computers and devices this holiday season. In fact, according to ForbesIDC predicts the worldwide smart connected device market will accelerate past 2 billion units by the end of 2015. If you're among the lucky owners of new computers and devices this year, you or your company may be planning to get rid of the old computers or devices, which have been replaced by newer versions. If so, I urge you to do so with caution!

Along with a collection of potentially harmful toxins, computers and other connected devices house vital information including passwords, registration numbers, account information, addresses, telephone numbers, and a host of other private information. Your hard drive is a goldmine for identity thieves and it is important to use proven methods to wipe this data from existence, before disposing of devices. Simply throwing the devices or their hard drives away could potentially cause more harm than good.

Below, we reveal the proper techniques to dispose of computers and devices, guard against identity theft, and protect the environment:

  1. Backup significant files and information
  2. Sanitize your hard drive
  3. Dispose of your computer

Read on to learn more about each step.

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Why Your Association Must Build a Technology Roadmap

Jordan Arnold

Posted by Jordan Arnold
Tue, Oct 13, 2015

It’s critical that associations, non-profit organizations and businesses, alike, proactively document and maintain a comprehensive, technology strategy, or as we like to call it, a technology roadmap.

With new desktop, mobilevirtual and BYOD integrations, technology has the potential to be one of the most important allies an organization could have. But, if you don't have a clear plan or strategy for the future, technology could actually become a barrier to your organization's growth.

Your technology roadmap must incorporate your:

  1. People
  2. Devices
  3. Applications
  4. Data

Read on to learn more about why it's so critical for your association to have a technology roadmap, how often you should update it, and why it must include each of the four components listed above.

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Which Windows Server is Best for Your SMB? WS 2012 vs. 2008 vs. Azure

Brian Norton

Posted by Brian Norton
Tue, Sep 01, 2015

After a 15-month extension, support for Windows Server 2003 officially ended in July 2015, leaving many SMBs wondering what to replace it with.

Nearly 10 million WS 2003 servers will have to be shut down, have their data and apps removed and be re-deployed on new servers. This server migration will be challenging enough for large enterprises with dedicated IT departments.

For small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) with fewer resources, the task of a server upgrade may seem overwhelming. An assessment by a trusted managed services provider (MSP) — one who understands your company’s core mission — is a good place for an SMB to start the process.

Your MSP needs to understand both how your business operates, and its culture. Matching the right server with an SMB entails many factors such as the size of the enterprise and the number of users, budget constraints, and license fee costs.

The entire migration takes time and planning, but here is an overview of each of these three server options available to replace Windows Server 2003:

  1. Windows Server 2012 Standard and R2
  2. Windows Server 2008
  3. Microsoft Azure
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The End of Life: What the End of Windows Server 2003 Means for SMBs

Caroline McKee

Posted by Caroline McKee
Wed, Jul 15, 2015

On July 14th 2015, Windows Server 2003 reached the end of its very long life. The “End of Life” of Windows Server 2003 refers to Microsoft’s discontinuation of support for this now outdated platform, however many people do not realize the full impact this will cause.

According to Microsoft, Windows Server 2003 accounted for 39% of all Windows servers in use at the time the End of Life was enacted, with an estimated 9.4 million servers existing in North America alone.

So what does this mean for companies still using Windows Server 2003 as their primary server?
Read on to learn the risks faced by those who have not yet made the switch over to another server and  how to make the transition away from Windows Server 2003 as smooth as possible for your individual company.

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Top 3 Reasons DC Businesses Should Adopt Hybrid IT

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Jul 07, 2015

Hybrid IT isn't just a growing trend — it's a complete shift in the way that we view IT, it's here to stay, and it can help your business succeed.

According to an IT trends study by The Society for Information Management (SIM), 27% of organizations had moved to a hybrid approach to IT organization and management by 2013 — a steady increase from the 15% of organizations who reported that they had hybrid IT in 2005.

Meanwhile, there is a steady decrease in centralized IT, from 74% of organizations having centralized IT in 2005, to 65% of organizations reporting a centralized approach for IT management in 2013. 

So what is Hybrid IT?

Put simply, Hybrid IT refers to an environment where elements of the IT infrastructure and applications are administered or maintained through multiple sources. This method of combining internal and external IT services is revolutionizing the roles of IT, but it is not necessarily brand new.

Read on for info on how businesses are already using Hybrid IT, as well as these top 3 reasons DC businesses should adopt it:

  1. Need to maintain control of data
  2. Benefits of having the right resources, when you need them and at a lower cost
  3. Desire for IT departments to respond quickly to changing business needs
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4 Security Features to Look for in a Cloud Services Provider

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Tue, May 19, 2015

Cybersecurity has never been more complex. Today, it is not a question of if a breach occurs; it is simply a matter of when. And just about everyone thinks that it can’t happen to them, only the other guy. Small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) are particularly prone to this syndrome, incorrectly assuming that hackers are only interested in large organizations. There are several reasons for this faulty logic:

  • Many SMBs think that their data is just not worth stealing
  • Cyber-attacks on SMBs offer low risks and high returns for criminals
  • SMBs are easier targets. Cyber criminals, like all crooks, look for the path of least resistance
  • Many SMBs have their guard down and don’t place security as a high priority
  • Most SMB security tools are no match against today’s attacks

 

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5 Cloud Security Tips for SMBs

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Thu, Nov 13, 2014

The Cloud is here to stay, and the need for secure cloud services is growing rapidly. According to a recent Gartner report, more than one third of all consumer digital content will be stored in the Cloud by 2016. Last month one of those popular cloud storage services, Dropbox, was the target of thieves who fooled hundreds of unsuspecting Dropbox clients into revealing their usernames and passwords.

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News, best practices and more to help you get the most out of your office technology. Whether you're an SMB owner who wears a lot of hats, or an enterprise IT director, facilities manager or just someone who wants to work smarter — this blog has the resources you need to maximize the business impact of all your tech investments. Be sure to subscribe to receive email updates about new posts!

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