Question: How long will it take to transition my on-premises server to the cloud, and what’s the process?
Answer: Our process involves a proof of concept which collects data tests prior to moving. The process can take a month with the actual switch over taking minutes.
Question: What if my Internet connection goes down? How will we be able to work?
Answer: While this is a valid concern, we overcome it in the following way for our clients in the cloud. We recommend having dual connections to the internet from your office from two providers and having a modern firewall which will switch over automatically.
Question: What happens if the Internet slows to the point where it’s difficult to work productively?
Answer: We resolve this by keeping a synchronized copy of your data on your on-site server as well as in the cloud. Here’s how this works: Microsoft offers a feature with Windows called “DFS,” which stands for Distributed File Systems. This technology synchronizes documents between cloud servers and local servers in your office. So instead of getting rid of your old server, we keep it on-site and maintain an up-to-date synched copy of your files, folders and documents on it. If the Internet goes down or slows to a grind, you simply open a generic folder on your PC and the system will automatically know to pull the documents from the fastest location (be it the cloud server or the local one). Once a file is modified, it syncs it in seconds so you don’t have to worry about having multiple versions of the same document. Using this process, you get the benefits of cloud with a backup solution to keep you up and running during slow periods or complete Internet outages.
Question: What about security? Isn’t there a big risk of someone accessing my data if it’s in the cloud?
Answer: In many cases, cloud computing is a MORE secure way of accessing and storing data. Just because your server is on-site doesn’t make it more secure; in fact, most small to medium businesses can’t justify the cost of securing their network the way a cloud provider can. And most security breaches occur due to human error – one of your employees downloads a file that contains a virus, they don’t use secure passwords or they simply e-mail confidential information out to people who shouldn’t see it. Other security breaches occur in on-site networks because the company didn’t properly maintain their own in-house network with security updates, software patches and up-to-date antivirus software.
That’s a FAR more common way networks get compromised versus a cloud provider getting hacked. Our standard process is to enable more security throughout your network, on the user’s machines and through the use of versioning so that copies are kept in real time.
Question: What if YOU go out of business? How do I get my data back?
Answer: We give every client network documentation that clearly outlines where their data is and how they could get it back in the event of an emergency. This includes emergency contact numbers, detailed information on how to access your data and infrastructure without needing our assistance (although our plan is to always be there to support you), a copy of our insurance policy and information regarding your backups and licensing.
We also give you a copy of OUR disaster recovery plan that shows what we’ve put in place to make sure we stay up and running.
In fact, you should never hire ANY IT professional who won’t give you that information. We also can deliver a copy of your data every month so you can have your own copy.
For critical company data, we offer business continuity plans so that your entire environment can be back up and running in hours, not days. Our process enables all files on the local computers to have a cloud backup at a minimum with an additional copy available as required or needed by clients. The real question we answer is: How much insurance do you want to buy?
Question: Do I have to purchase new hardware (servers, workstations) to move to the cloud?
Answer: No! That’s one of the selling points of cloud computing. It allows you to use older workstations, laptops and servers because the computing power is in the cloud. Not only does that allow you to keep and use hardware longer, but it allows you to buy cheaper workstations and laptops because you don’t need the expensive computing power required in the past.