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  • September 12th, 2015

    Is your system backed up properly…?

    The idea of backup for some means they just feel better because they have an “extra copy” of their important files. Unfor-tunately this can give you a false sense of security. A “backup copy” of files is handy for accidental file or folder deletion, but that’s not enough. A simple copy of “critical data” without including the operating system and configuration, and/or custom installed applications, is not a true backup plan. If you have SBS (MS Small Business Server) where all critical applications and data are centralized on one server including email, CRM, network storage, designs, accounting data, etc., – any problem with this server would bring the company to a stand-still.

    Business owners/managers who really want a good night’s sleep should have true confidence that their systems (their company) can quickly recover from; a hardware failure, fire, water damage, etc. Backing up your system is a function and a plan. Every company should have a BDR Plan (Backup Disaster Recovery) or more appropriately called a Business Continuity Plan! If your “Backups” are just copies… or if after reading this, you think you may not sleep well tonight, give us a call and we’ll help you take the necessary steps to ensure you can snore again!


    Are you backing up your systems via Tape, NAS device or USB drive…? Do you rotate them frequently… to a fire safe or take them home? What about Cloud backup services—how can they help?


    We are here to help you, just give us a call at (206) 246-2525.


    August 12th, 2015

    Small Businesses Owners Suffer from False Sense of Cyber Security

    Alliance and conducted by Zogby International.

    The survey found that two-thirds (67%) of U.S. small busi-nesses have become more dependent on the Internet in the last year and 66% are dependent on the network for their day-to-day operations. What’s more, 57% of firms say that a loss of Internet access for 48 hours would be disruptive to their business and 38% said it would be “extremely disrup-tive” and 76% say that most of their employees use the In-ternet daily.

    The vast majority of small business owners think their com-pany is cyber-secure as 85% of respondents said their com-pany is safe from hackers, viruses, malware or a cyber-security breach and seven in ten (69%) believe Internet se-curity critical to their business’s success. Additionally, a ma-jority (57%) of small businesses believe that having a strong cyber security and online safety posture is good for their company’s brand.

    SOURCE: National Cyber Security Alliance


    Don’t take a risk with your important data. You certainly don’t want to compromise the relationships and reputation you’ve built with your clients over the years. Taking the time to put a good security policy in place and installing a strong security software suite is definitely worth it!

    If you’re interested in knowing more about how to beef up security through company policies, software, and user edu-cation, please give us a call. We’d be happy to sit down with you and discuss your security needs.

    July 5th, 2015

    Server Replacement Time…

    Are you still using XP or Server 2003? It might be time for an upgrade…

    The standard expectation when using technology today is that inevitably you’ll need to change/upgrade. As technology  advances it usually makes things easier, faster and better. The idea of making things better is for the most part, worth  the pains brought on by “change”. Your old systems may be limping along, but why not make things better? You could vastly improve you and your staff’s productivity and increase your bottom line… etc. Yes, the mantra “If it ain’t broke,  why fix it?” is certainly a hard one to contest… But it doesn’t mean that things can’t get any better. I suggest we put  that little saying up against your mom’s advice… “You’ll never know unless you try it!” (mom should push you in the right direction). I’m not advocating bleeding edge trials here… mainly those tried and true advancements that have a  great deal of recommendations behind them.


    If you’re working on XP and/or Window Server 2003 (or prior…) there’s plenty of evidence that the above mentioned  motherly advice makes a great deal of sense. Many studies have shown that Windows 7 and current server operating systems  outperform their predecessors in almost every conceivable situation.


    Combining the new server architecture of today, with the multiple benefits of virtualization (which have been available for  a long while now…) will no-doubt provide you a strong and healthy network! YEP! a network that will once again allow  you to properly reapply that money saving mantra “If it ain’t broke why fix it” for many more years to come!


    It is of course very important for us to understand the way you do business in order to accurately  assess how an upgrade can positively impact operations. Please contact us and we’ll be happy  to discuss an upgrade plan using the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.

    demo . Source
    September 5th, 2012

    Better By Bonding…How’s YOUR Internet connection?

    Wish you could splice together two, three or more DSL lines? Or what about combining two or more different Internet services together, DSL, Cable, and T1 into one large Internet pipe? Or even include 3G & 4G wireless Internet for added reliability / fail-over…

    A Bonding Appliance, also referred to as a “Bandwidth Aggregation Appliance” — offers aggregated Internet connectivity
    to small and medium size businesses (SMBs) with heavy usage needs; from the single use office to multi-tenant buildings,
    by aggregating multiple Internet access lines for increased performance and reliability. Multiple DSL, cable modem or T1 services can be combined to provide much higher speeds and more reliable Internet access.

    These appliances have certainly matured. If you’re in need of more bandwidth or maybe it’s just that access to highspeed cable is not available in your area… give us a call! This could not only be a very viable answer to your Internet woes, depending on the importance your business places on “Internet Uptime” it could provide you very valuable fail-over benefits as well!

    demo . Source

    Doing More With Less… Virtualization

    Virtualization is simply a term attached to some technology that allows multiple instances of an operating system on the same hardware. Think about a car’s engine. It runs more than just the wheels. Some of its power is used to run the al-ternator, air conditioning, etc. All these are sepa-rate and independent systems, but they share the power of the car’s engine.

    Why did anyone invent this? Well, there are many reasons but the primary one is that most computers’ processors (CPUs) are underutilized. By us-ing virtualization we can use that excess compu-ting power to do other things.

    Why not just run more software on the server? The primary reason here is compatibility. Some server software can run side-by-side in the same operat-ing system (OS) and others must be run separately. In addition, by separating your server workloads you prevent a problem with the server OS from taking everything you use offline.

    What other benefits are there? There are a lot of other benefits. Some of these include:

    Load balancing – this is the ability to have multiple com-puters (servers) and to move the workloads around to optimize the use of your hardware.

    High availability – this is the ability to have your workloads move (manually or automatically) from one computer to another in the event of a problem. Let’s say you have an accounting program that uses a server to store its data. If that workload is virtualized and the hardware it runs on has a problem, the workload can be moved to another computer and you have little or no downtime.

    Portability – along the same lines as high-availability, port-ability means that your workloads can be run on just about any hardware (that supports virtualization). This means you are no longer tied to a brand or architec-ture for your servers.
    Just ask any of the technicians at BK Business Systems about the difficulty of moving an existing server’s workload to new and different hardware.

    Compatibility – OK so I listed this one above but it’s worth mentioning again because virtualization allows you to run older software for longer. If you have an aging server that has Windows Server 2003 (an OS that is almost 10 years old!) you can virtualize the OS onto new hardware without upgrading anything. This is a beautiful thing for legacy software that many businesses use that can’t run on the newer operating systems.

    Is special hardware required? Not really. You need hardware that supports virtualization but most modern servers do. Virtualization can run on workstations but generally it is reserved for servers. NCS can help you determine what hardware you would need to purchase and/or what hardware you already own that could be “virtualized”.
    You will want to have plenty of RAM (memory), disk space and network capacity on your physical servers to support your virtu-al workloads.

    How long has virtualization been around? Some would say it has been around since the 1970’s in some form. Practically speaking it really began to take off in 2003/2004. It really hit its stride in 2008/2009 with new capabilities and lower prices (Microsoft’s Hyper-V was released in 2008 for free). Today we see it being widely adopted by businesses large and small.

    In summary, by using virtualization you can do more with less hardware (fewer physical servers), reduce downtime by taking advantage of high-availability and portability and save money by maximizing your use of hardware, reducing the time it takes to recover from a failure and keeping your workloads running.

    by Grant Thompson

    demo . Source