Internet Tips

How IT Services Help Small Businesses Boost Profitability

How IT Services Help Small Businesses Boost Profitability 1920 600 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

It’s never been more important for small businesses to run lean – if you are a small business owner, you know exactly what that means. Fixed costs add up quickly, and can eat up a lot of your cash flow if you’re not careful. Fortunately, IT offers many ways to preserve your margin, and add more value to your bottom line in the process.

Here are just some of the ways IT helps small businesses boost profits:

Cloud storage and computing

The cloud has been gaining importance for several years now. Though many companies still run their systems with a combination of cloud and on-premise server solutions, the cloud has offered an alternative to many identifiable pain points, most of which may well become a thing of the past in short order. Examples include:

Elimination of paper files: without having to store masses of paper files, you can reclaim your file room and repurpose it for something more productive (a huddle room, perhaps?). Additionally, the incidence of lost files virtually disappears, and with it all the man-hours spent printing, sorting, filing, and maintaining a file system. Just think of all the trees you’re saving, too – but that’s just a bonus.

Save on hardware and IT maintenance costs: if your company’s systems and data is cloud based, you won’t have any costly equipment to purchase and maintain. It will also save on labour and maintenance of said servers, as all of your data is stored in the cloud. You might be able to reduce the size of your staff, or eliminate your IT team altogether, and you won’t have to pay for updates, upgrades or repairs ever again.

Increase productivity: by migrating your systems to the cloud, you can provide your employees with an easier way to access company data. They will be able to log in from any device and review documents, calendars, and other company essentials from wherever they are, facilitating better accountability and boosting productivity, which adds value straight back to the bottom line.

Better control of your budget, more flexibility: most cloud solutions offer pay-as-you-go options, and most are pay per user. This means you can know exactly how much you are paying each month, and can easily scale to meet your specific needs. Not least of all, you will be saving thousands of dollars on your energy bills, as you won’t have to power up a room full of equipment.

Business VoIP Phone Systems and Unified Communications

The exorbitant expense of a business phone system just doesn’t make sense nowadays. With the option to choose VoIP, there is little argument left in favour of legacy PBX or conventional phone lines, no matter what size company you run.

Voice over IP (VoIP) is not only vastly less expensive to deploy, it offers so much flexibility, and so many valuable business features that there shouldn’t be a reason not to do it.

Consider these points:

No more phone lines: VoIP can either run on your internal network, or it can be hosted in the cloud, so you can eliminate the cost of maintaining physical phone lines and the infrastructure that goes with them.

Cut toll costs: while you may still pay for long distance, it will be at a fraction of what it would be over a conventional phone line.

Add value to your telecommunications: VoIP offers a robust set of features that add value, not only for your customers, but for your employees as well. Call conferencing, forwarding, virtual phone numbers and area codes, and being able to connect directly from your CRM are just some of the features that will help your workforce save time and be more productive. Your customers will like it because they will have a better experience – and happy customers will keep coming back!

Greenlight ITC: helping your company boost profits and productivity

These are just some of the ways IT services can transform the way you work and boost your profitability. Greenlight ITC offers a range of managed IT services and support packages that are guaranteed to add value and save you money. With the goal of helping you reduce the day-to-day costs of maintaining your technology, we are always ready with expert advice and services that are made for the way Australia does business. Call today to find out more about how we can help.

What’s New in IT for Sydney Businesses in 2017?

What’s New in IT for Sydney Businesses in 2017? 1600 400 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

In the always-dynamic IT landscape, trends and operational methods seem to change with the wind. But there are some distinct trends evolving among Australian businesses, aimed at bringing their operations up to date, while deriving the maximum value out of their infrastructure.

Managed services are gaining in importance

Managed services play an important role in this movement, representing a significant shift in focus that is actually driving revenue for the adoptive companies.

According to Michael Warrilow, vice president of Gartner Research, there are several core values driving these IT trends in Australia, including cost-optimization, cloud strategies, virtualization, and the replacement of legacy applications and infrastructure.

Data center trends embrace a hybrid approach

Cloud adoption has been slowly infiltrating Sydney businesses, but there has been some hesitation in complete integration, sometimes due to industry compliance regulation, and sometimes due to a reliance on legacy systems and applications that would require a significant investment in order to upgrade. By approaching their data center needs with a hybrid approach, businesses  in Sydney are able to become more agile while still meeting regulatory requirements. Going forward, developing a viable cloud strategy will be foremost, as even with the initial investment and pain points of the migration, it will represent greater value in the bigger picture.

A recent report published by Gartner suggests that DevOps, defined as a collaboration between operations and development teams, will become a major catalyst in defining this trend.

Cost optimization

With shrinking IT budgets, and a need to streamline processes while increasing value, cost optimization is necessary for Sydney businesses to remain relevant. The cost optimization methodology helps businesses to address potential risk while highlighting areas where cost-saving technologies can be implemented to bring value over the long term. Some cost optimization concepts include:

  • Centralization and standardization of technologies
  • Adoption of shared or managed IT services to reduce the cost of IT management and delivery
  • Adopting a cloud strategy
  • Optimization of software and IT management capabilities

All in all, cost optimization is about cutting costs while increasing value.

Managed services tend to deliver on all accounts, and can be implemented for:

  • 24/7 server monitoring and management
  • Next-generation security protocols
  • Unified communications
  • Backups and disaster recovery

Over and above cost-optimization, managed services can help by addressing problems before they become issues, minimizing or eliminating your downtime and saving you lots of money in the long run.

Virtualization: powering the remote workforce

As global business trends continue to shift towards a more flexible work environment, virtualization steps in as a solution to provide continuity in IT deliverables, even when the workforce is distributed over a large geographical area.

The ability to access a consistent network, desktop, and company file hierarchy is key to this trend, which provides a myriad of cost-savings and efficiency-driven benefits. Though there are many emerging technologies that are driving this trend, we can certainly look forward to a future in virtualization that will grow more agile with time.

Modernization of legacy infrastructure and applications

Since many companies still rely on legacy applications and infrastructure, it is becoming more evident that upgrades are necessary in order to meet future technology expectations, support scalable growth and shore up IT security issues – all of which add significant value to the bottom line.

Companies that continue to use legacy systems may be inadvertently making themselves more susceptible to cyber-attacks, not to mention tying up funds in IT management, as these systems often require additional maintenance to help them remain stable and secure.

Replacing your Citrix Server with RemoteFX 2016

If you are currently using a Citrix server for virtualization and mobile deployment, you are probably no stranger to the expensive and complex processes and never-ending maintenance that is involved in being a Citrix client. Though the prospect of changing over to a new system may seem daunting, the benefits are significant, both for the company and the end user.

For display graphics, Citrix has been surpassed by RemoteFX adaptive graphics, which is designed to support high quality streaming technologies and other rich media applications without latency-causing redirections or poor response due to low bandwidth. Even if you don’t think your company needs support for this type of technology right now, this is undeniably where we are headed. Getting ahead of the game is certainly in your best interests, both from an economical and technological perspective.

Approaching IT from an innovative standpoint

While flexibility and efficiency remain important, forward-thinking businesses in Sydney are finding it important to think about the future. Making changes now can support future growth and global expansion without the pain points associated with adapting to new technology trends.

Taken in this light, being able to deliver cost-effective, expedient business solutions that mitigate risk and are simple to manage should be easy to justify.

Greenlight ITC: helping you navigate the changing IT landscape

If you are a business in Sydney who is looking to improve your business performance and bottom line through technology, talk to the experts at Greenlight ITC today. We’d love to find out more about what you’re all about, and how we can help.

Backing up Cloud Applications

Backing up Cloud Applications 1280 500 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

So, you’ve migrated your company’s data to the cloud. It’s secure, it’s convenient, it enables your remote and mobile workforce, and it adds several layers of protection and security that you don’t have to self-manage.

But does this mean that all of your data is secure and available all the time? The answer is a firm – maybe. But maybe not is just as valid.

Even with all the advantages of cloud-based SaaS, such as Google Suite, Microsoft Office 365, or Microsoft Online Exchange, you could still be at risk for losing vital documents and data if it isn’t backed up adequately. Ultimately, it is still your data, and you alone are responsible for it.

Reasons for data loss in the cloud

While these managed services do provide online storage and anywhere access, it’s often at the user end that things get lost. Accidental deletion of files can mean that your data is gone for good – and even Microsoft will admit that “you can sometimes recover such items.” Note the use of the word “sometimes.” This offers no guarantee that your lost task, email message, calendar event, or even an entire folder might be retrievable.

Top reasons for SaaS data loss include (in descending order of prevalence):

  1. User deletion
  2. User overwrite
  3. Hacker/malicious deletion
  4. End of SaaS contract results in lost data
  5. Intentional/malicious deletion
  6. Application overwrite

And if you’re thinking “Google/Microsoft (insert your platform here) is too big a company to fail me,” you aren’t totally wrong – but you’re not exactly right, either.

Consider this: you are collaborating on a project in Google Docs with another member of your team. Once they have finished their part of the job, they delete it from their Google Drive, thinking that they have no need for it anymore. However, since it is a shared document, their changes – including the deletion – affects every other user connected to the document. In the blink of an eye, all that work is lost.

While this is just an example of one possible unwitting error, it is easy to see the potential for malicious damage to occur as well. Fortunately, there are solutions. Forewarned is forearmed.

Local sync is not enough: create local backups

If you have established a local folder for your Google or Office files, you probably assume that there will always be a copy available. However, these “copies” are actually just links to the networked files, and if those files are corrupted or lost, the link will not take you anywhere. It’s always advisable to save a completely clean copy of your files in a separate folder, and perhaps on a separate type of media, such as an external drive of some sort.

Establishing a strict backup program is important to the integrity of your data, and all versions of files you may need to have access to in the future. To be triple-sure of your data security, follow the 3-2-1 rule of backups: three copies (one production copy and two copies of that), two different types of storage media, and one copy stored off-site, or in the cloud.

File sync (FSS) is not a backup

While using Google Docs, OneDrive or Dropbox makes it easy and convenient to collaborate on, send and share documents, it is not a backup service. These services do not automatically backup your data, and do not update files as changes are made, and there is always potential for loss or corruption for any number of reasons.

Using a cloud backup service

Cloud backup services are integral to protecting your company’s data. It gives you the peace of mind of knowing that no matter what happens, your data is accessible, allowing you to recover files and restore systems in case of disaster. Some other advantages to cloud backup include:

It’s faster: instant access means you don’t have to go looking for your media drives to restore

It’s high-capacity: you can back up all your systems, documents and applications, and scale as needed

It’s seamless: the backup process will not disrupt your workflow

It’s secure: your data is encrypted for an extra layer of protection

It supports redundancy: all versions of your documents and systems will be saved, and the level of versioning can be user-directed

Choosing a cloud backup service

When shopping for a good cloud backup service, there are a few points to consider:

Internet bandwidth: you need a good internet connection to make cloud backup effective. A slow connection can result in delayed backups. If you have a slow or spotty connection, consider a service that you can configure to perform incremental backups to ensure it doesn’t get stuck.

Encryption: your data should be secured with an encryption key that you create. Be aware, however, that if this key is lost, your cloud service may not be able to help you recover your files.

Expense: you will have to pay for cloud backup, but it’s well worth it, simply for the peace of mind it brings. Most companies charge according to how much storage you require, and you can scale up or down as needed.

Some cloud backup services to consider include Backupify, Acronis, Crashplan, and Backblaze, all of which offer flexible features, a simple dashboard to manage it, and affordable plans to suit any company, from SMBs to enterprise.

Greenlight ITC: your cloud backup headquarters

If you are concerned about the safety of your cloud data, and would like to learn more about cloud backup services, get in touch with Greenlight ITC today. For more than a decade, we have been supporting businesses in Sydney and Melbourne with high-performance IT solutions that help them grow. We’d love to find out what we can do for you.

3 Microsoft Hacks You Never Knew You Needed

3 Microsoft Hacks You Never Knew You Needed 1280 500 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne
  1. Edit PDFs

Your PDF files open by default in Adobe. But, what if you want to edit them? You cannot do that within Adobe Reader, and the Adobe software that does let you make changes to PDFs is not cheap. Microsoft Word to the rescue!

Launch Microsoft Word. Attempt to open a document like you normally would by selecting “File” and then “Open.” On the bottom right of the window that pops up, click the drop-down menu. Choose “PDF,” and then browse to the file that you wish to edit. Once you open it, you can make your edits. You may lose some of the formatting in the process, but it’s nothing that you cannot overcome.

  1. Collaborate in Real Time

With Microsoft Office, you and a colleague can edit the same document or spreadsheet at the same time. This feature is actually built into Office 2013. No magic needed. It’s a little bit of a process, but will pay off once configured.

First, save your document, spreadsheet, or presentation – whatever it may be within the Microsoft Office suite – to OneDrive. Once the document is saved, select “File,” “Share” (on the left side of the screen), and then send out your invites.

If all goes accordingly, your colleague on the other end will now be able to review and edit your work in real time. You may need to adjust your Microsoft Office settings in order to do this, but you can always request help from your IT department or an IT services company, if you have any trouble.

  1. Ignore Reply-All Email Annoyances

Have you ever been included on one of those spam email threads that have absolutely nothing to do with you, but someone (or multiple people) keep on hitting the reply-all button? Ignore these frequent annoyances with Outlook! 

Select the chain of messages. Then, in the top of the Outlook window, to the left of the “Delete” button, you will see “Ignore.” By choosing this command, any future messages will now be sent straight to the Deleted Items folder, helping you cut down on inbox clutter.

If you use Microsoft Office at home and at work every day, these time-saver tips may be just what you need to kick productivity into high gear!

FINDME-FOLLOWME-VOIP-GREENTLIGHT

What is find me follow me and how it can help your sales team

What is find me follow me and how it can help your sales team 1280 500 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Find me/follow me is a very useful feature of VoIP phone systems and unified communications environments. It’s easy to set up, it runs seamlessly on any device or phone, and you may already have this feature on your existing phone system.

What is find me/follow me?

Simply put, find me/follow me is a calling feature that you can set up so that you will never again miss a phone call. It’s a digital auto-attendant that you set up through your VoIP dashboard. In it, you can assign various phone numbers to ring in case you don’t pick up on your usual number or extension. You can even configure it to ring your computer or tablet if you like, or configure it to ring several devices at once. Simply set the amount of time it should wait until it rings the next number in the lineup, and if you don’t pick up, it will move on to the next one, and so on. Once it has exhausted all possibilities, it will connect to voice mail. The voice mail is configurable as well, and with just a couple of clicks you can set it to transcribe your voice messages to email or text.

Who needs find me/follow me?

In this day and age, it seems like everybody is physically attached to their phone. However, this is not always the case, as many are becoming more sensitive to the distractions that smartphones imply. Increasingly, we see busy executives, sales people, and anybody who cares about having a meaningful exchange putting their devices away during important meetings and while they are on the go. The popularity of wearables is also a factor: when you can receive notifications on your wrist as to who is calling, emailing or texting, you’re less likely to keep your phone handy. This implies that there are even more devices to manage – and think of it – you’ve got a desk phone, a smartphone, a tablet, a desktop computer, a Bluetooth enabled smartwatch, and possibly even more. If you can be notified of incoming calls on any of these devices, nobody can ever say ‘we couldn’t find you.’

An easier way for your customers to find you

Even though your phone is probably close by, it may not always be possible to route calls through to it, and even then, you may not have it handy. The caller would have to call the main company number, the receptionist would put the call through to your office, your PA would then try to locate you and attempt to transfer the call, or take a message and have you call them back. Having multiple phone numbers can get a little confusing as well, and it would be a shame if a client was unable to reach you and then eventually gave up.

Find me/follow me eliminates that confusion and lag time, ensuring that your calls are routed through the proper channels until they reach you. This is especially helpful for sales teams, who may normally receive incoming calls through various contact numbers. By eliminating missed calls and crossed signals, you can be confident that your reps are always available and ready to act on new or repeat business as it comes their way.

Highly configurable, centrally managed

Find me/follow me doesn’t just route calls, though. You can configure it to do various different things as it’s going through its list of numbers: you can have your callers listen to ‘on hold’ music of your choice, or you can configure it with a voice greeting that you record, or an automated message letting the caller know that it is trying your next extension.

You could send calls directly to voice mail, or, based on caller ID, you can have select numbers bypass all greetings and be routed directly to you – handy if you have very important customers or colleagues from whom you can’t miss a call. If you are in the middle of an important meeting, you can have your calls go directly to voicemail, where they will then be sent to your email or text.

You can customize your call routing by the time of day, the time of year, or any date or time range that you choose – the point is, you will never miss a call again. The best part is, it’s probably already part of your phone system, so there is nothing to add and no additional money to shell out.

Greenlight ITC: helping you make the most out of your VoIP telephony

Greenlight ITC is a supplier of hosted IT support services in Melbourne and Sydney. We specialize in small business and SMBs, providing them with stress-free IT and customer service that is second to none. If you are thinking about switching to VoIP, or would like to get started with unified communications, call today. We would love to find out more about your company, and talk about how we can help.

DROPBOX-SMARTSYNC-GREENTLIGHT

What is Dropbox smart sync and what can it do for me?

What is Dropbox smart sync and what can it do for me? 1280 500 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

It wasn’t that long ago that the office was the only place to access your company files, projects and see progress on collaborative documents. Then, mobile changed everything, and the only obstacle to working remotely was having access to this data. With the advent of cloud computing, what may have been deemed impossible only a few short years ago is now quite common. Having your files synchronized and available to access, edit and share at anytime, and on any device – that’s what it’s all about.

An essential tool with many features and benefits

Dropbox has become an essential tool for most people, and not just remote workers. Being able to work on a file at the office, and then later, work on it some more at home, not only saves time but allows you to act when inspiration strikes. Simply save to Dropbox, and you’ve made it available for yourself or other team members to access at any time.

The solution everyone want’s but hasn’t been available until now is:

  • accessing all the company files from anywhere without having to use a cumbersome and slow VPN.
  • Have all the company files they need on the local machine without filling up the hard disk.
  • Being able to collaborate with co-workers on documents without having to move files around or constantly send attachments.

Who is Dropbox Smart sync for?

Dropbox smart sync is designed to meet the modern business demands. So how does Smart sync help? In a nut shell you can see all files on your laptop or desktop no mater how many files there are or how limited your hard drive space is. As you open files they are synced to your computer on demand. Frequent folders and files are kept on your computer ready for offline access or imitate access no VPN, moving files from your desktop and back to the corporate drive or email attachments required.

Dropbox Smart Sync and other business features

Full Visibility: Each user can see all files they have access to.

Offline access: frequently used folders and files are ready when you need them.

Data encryption: files are encrypted in transit so that they can’t be accessed by any unauthorized source.

LAN syncing: enabling LAN sync allows you to increase the speed at which your files sync as long as you are connect to the local network. This can represent a dramatic difference in upload times, and great if you are syncing rich media files.

Access and restore deleted files: another great feature, especially if you are working in teams, is that if you or another person accidentally deletes a file, it is still accessible for up to 30 days.

File collaboration with Microsoft applications: Dropbox allows you to collaborate on Microsoft office files in real-time, always updating to the most recent version. Other file types don’t have the real-time feature, which may present a problem if two people are trying to work on a file at the same time.

Greenlight ITC: Sydney and Melbourne IT support

If you are looking IT solutions in Melbourne or Sydney, call Greenlight ITC today. We have been serving businesses in Australia for well over a decade, providing certified expertise that our clients have come to depend on. If you have any questions about Dropbox for business, or Dropbox smart sync, and how they can help you engage your workforce and boost productivity, call us today. We’d love to find out more about you, and talk about how we can help.

IT-REQUIREMENTS-FOR-OFFICE-MOVE

What to look for in a new office from an IT perspective

What to look for in a new office from an IT perspective 1280 500 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Planning to move your office or setting up a new one for your business is daunting enough, but these days it’s not quite as simple as moving in your furniture and making sure the lights are on. From an IT perspective, there is a lot of additional planning that goes into such a task, especially if you want the move to be as painless and seamless as possible.

Know what you’re walking into

First, let’s look at the key IT points to consider.

Internet

Are there internet options available that will suit your needs? Is the NBN available in my area?

The NBN rollout is ongoing, and will mean lightning-fast speeds on a very reliable network. Check to see if NBN is available for your new location, and if not, when it is estimated to become available. If you hope to take advantage of the NBN but can’t do so right away, plan your office from a broadband perspective so you can make the switch quickly and easily once it comes on line. Even if NBN is not available, see if Fibre, Metro Ethernet or ADSL is available. Also check what speeds you are likely to get so there are no surprises.

Voice and network infrastructure

The voice and data network infrastructure is very important, so be sure to consider your present and future needs from this standpoint. From a cabling perspective, if the space was previously occupied by an accounting firm, and you are a fast-growing multimedia company, chances are the existing network infrastructure may not be adequate for your needs. The bandwidth that may have been okay for the twenty bean counters that came before would not even scratch the surface for a design-focused group that needs to transfer large files on a regular basis. If this is the case, a complete re-wiring of the entire office may be necessary.

Power and cabling

Power and cabling is also an important issue. Sometimes, the building’s owner or property manager can provide you with a detailed schematic showing where all the power outlets and telephone jacks are located so you can start putting the pieces together. It’s especially important as this will tell you what work needs to be done before the move is initiated. Always consider potential future uses for any areas not already allocated to a use. It is always wise to run additional network access points, even if you’re not sure you are going to use them. Running extra wire now will save you lots of money and aggravation later on.

Will you need a server room?

If your company plans to run physical servers, you will need to allocate adequate space to house them. Ask yourself whether you will need to add more servers over time, and if there is enough room for the expansion. Consider also whether you will need to install new data drops, and if the air conditioning is sufficient. If not, find out if the a/c can be routed to the room.

Do you need a new phone system?

If you were previously running a legacy PBX system, you might consider switching to a VoIP solution for your voice and messaging. The advantages to a unified communications network are great, and can add value to your company in increased employee engagement and productivity. Additionally, it will save you a great deal of money on telephone infrastructure, as the system is completely virtual. This gives you access to enterprise-level features at a fraction of the cost of what you may have been paying for your phone service before. You can also take your old number with you, even if you move into a new area.

Timing

Make sure you have a plan and don’t leave this to the last minute.  It can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks to get new services activated, and even longer for Fibre.   Nobody wants to turn up to his or her new office and have no access to email.

Pro tip: schedule your move on a weekend when there will be less people needing to access the network. Your engineers can work without distraction and you can hit the ground running on Monday.

Greenlight ITC: Office Relocations

While there are many IT companies in Sydney and Melbourne  who can help you determine your needs, Greenlight ITC is a trusted provider of managed services with more than a decade of experience. Always keen to share our best advice, we’re also here to help when you need it. If you are moving your office to a new location, or setting up a new one, call Greenlight ITC today. Our technicians are always standing by to lend a helping hand.

Increasing Workplace Productivity with Office365 Skype for Business

Increasing Workplace Productivity with Office365 Skype for Business 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Skype for Business (S4B) is just one of the productivity tools in the Office365 arsenal, but it adds many powerful collaborative features that can take your efforts into the stratosphere, improve employee productivity and engagement, and streamline many of your business processes to be more efficient and agile than ever before. The modern communications solutions it offers are valuable for any size business, but nowhere is its effect as dramatic as at the enterprise level.

With full S4B integration into your Microsoft Office suite, your workforce can connect and collaborate with the click of a mouse. Add to that the ability to integrate your CMS, and you’ve got a neat little package that packs a huge punch.

What is S4B?

We are all familiar with Skype as a way to video call and make IP phone calls from your computer or device. S4B is much more than that – a complete unified communications system that combines all of your communications into a single platform: your entire network’s voice, mobile, SMS, email, instant messaging, voice mail and live chat are consolidated, and available on any device, from anywhere you might be working. All of your messaging and calls can be managed from a dashboard, which gives you the ability to monitor what is going on with every single user. This includes being able to monitor call quality as well as call length and destination, so that you can better optimize your hardware as well as your human capital to accommodate your specific needs.

Overcoming communications challenges

Increasing employee engagement is something you want to strive for, and with S4B you are giving them the tools to stay focused and continue on in their tasks without the challenges of technology, location, or even language. Yes, that’s a thing: recent features added to S4B include support for more than 50 languages. So, if for instance  you are on a video conference with a client or a remote worker, and that person is in China, you can opt to have their spoken input translated in real time. This works for both voice and video calls, and adds a new and exciting layer to what is possible.

S4B also gives your workforce the option of switching to a different mode of communication without having to exit the platform or switch devices. For instance, if you are on a call with an account, you can conference in other employees instantly, or join a remote meeting that is already in progress on the other side of the world – all without leaving your desk. If you are on an important call and need to leave your desk, you can switch to your mobile device without interrupting the call, and carry on. The same applies to your remote workforce, or to your in-the-field salesforce. In a world that increasingly expects an immediate response to most issues, your team can connect and collaborate, no matter where they are: in the airport, in transit, or anywhere there is an internet connection.

Organization made easy

Skype for Business also makes it easier to set up conferences and meetings. Integration with your CMS allows you to set up and invite your contacts to meetings from within the S4B environment. Take your efforts even further by broadcasting your meetings to up to 10,000 people, a great option for large companies with international locations. Broadcast your team conferences, training seminars, and webinars, and provide an interactive experience for your viewers as you can ask them to complete polls, ask questions and take messages as you go.

Get Started with Office 365 and Learn More About S4B

If you are considering implementing Office 365, or if your company is ready to get started with Skype for Business unified communications, we would love to hear from you. Greenlight ITC is a full-service IT consultancy, and over our more than a decade in business, we have helped thousands of Australian businesses become more productive and achieve greater success. Call today or drop us a line to speak to one of our Microsoft Office 365 specialists, and find out what Office 365 and S4B can do for you.

Here is a very handy tip for you and your staff – Block all ads on the internet

Here is a very handy tip for you and your staff – Block all ads on the internet 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

How to install uBlock Origin in Chrome Browser to stop ads. Brilliant for YouTube. Also stops you going to malicious sites.

Chrome is currently the number one browser used worldwide.block ads in chrome

How to install the ad blocker

  1. Open the browser and click on the 3 lines to the top right as shown below.
    chrome2

2. Scroll down until you see Get more extensions as pictured below.

chrome3 chrome4

This will block all Ads in Chrome and give a better browsing experience. No more YouTube Ads etc. It actually speeds up the internet as you are not loading all the ads any more.

How to speed up Virtual Servers

How to speed up Virtual Servers 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

virtual server

Cost savings from Virtualisation is driving today’s large and enterprise-scale IT infrastructure deployments. However with this comes the need to make more advanced considerations when planning and provisioning compared to the relatively simpler bare-metal configurations of days of old.

Virtual server – Wikipedia

Virtual server may refer to: Virtual environment (container), a container-based environment where the underlying hardware and OS is unchanged, but the …

There is still a small group of the IT community that maintain a hostile stance towards virtualisation as a whole which almost always stems from the uninformed decisions made during an ultimately unsuccessful wander into the world of virtualisation at some point in the past which has left a bad taste in the mouth.

Virtualisation is obviously a more complex configuration of software and hardware than a bare-metal deployment but the benefits are enormous and can be surmised with one word – density. The ability to run scores of servers in a virtual environment on a single physical host is far more efficient and massively increases cost effectivity.

However, with these benefits comes the requirement of sound planning and knowledge of how hypervisor hosts and their guests operate in order to create a consolidated yet high-performing virtual environment.

One of the primary considerations is virtual CPU allocation and this affects CPU wait time which if carelessly configured can have a drastic performance impact on all the guests on the host.

Conventional logic dictates that if you want a virtual machine’s processing performance to increase then you simply assign it more cores but this is somewhat misunderstood because a machine with a higher number of cores will potentially have to wait longer for that number of processing threads to be available on the physical CPU.

There are of course other factors that determine wait time as well such as the core assignment distribution between all the guests on the host, the number of physical sockets on the host and the amount of logical cores available per socket if hyperthreading is supported on the particular CPU model.

Consider the following example:

  • You have a single-socket host running the vSphere, Hyper-V or XenServer hypervisor.
  • The host has an Intel 10-Core CPU with hyperthreading enabled for a total of 20 logical CPU cores.
  • 9 running virtual machines reside on this host. 8 with 4 vCPUs and 1 with 8 vCPUs. Total provisioned CPU cores = 40 = oversubscription ratio of 2:1.
  • When the virtual machines with 4 cores need to access the physical CPU they must wait for 4 logical cores to become simultaneously available for processing to occur.
  • When the virtual machine with 8 cores needs to access the physical CPU it must wait for 8 logical cores to become simultaneously available for its processing to take place which depending on the workloads of the other guests could be twice the wait time that the others need to conduct processing.

So from experience the lesson to be learnt here is to allocate a fewer number of CPU cores to a virtual machine to start with and increase it as necessary and if required. This is also stated within the best practice guidelines for virtual machine deployment of VMware, Microsoft and Citrix.

  • Plan the vCPU assignments wisely for all VMs on a given host to ensure the best performance.
  • Be conservative not carefree with allocations. Don’t assign a large number of CPU cores to a virtual machine that does not need them.
  • Check the average CPU allocation across the guests and keep it as uniform as possible.
  • If there is a large number of guests with fewer cores and a handful of performance intensive guests with many cores on a moderately-highly oversubscribed host then there is a good chance you will encounter CPU wait time issues.

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