backup

IT relocation

How to Make Your IT Relocation Hassle Free

How to Make Your IT Relocation Hassle Free 1000 597 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Let’s be honest: everyone hates moving. The endless cataloging of items, the drudgery of packing up your important belongings, and the fervent hope that your precious antique collection of saucers makes it to your new place can cause a lot of worry.

Moving a small to medium sized business isn’t easy either. A business has many important parts that have to be considered. Chief among these is the IT department. While moving ordinary office equipment is one thing, moving your IT equipment and infrastructure comes with its own special challenges.

Thankfully, moving doesn’t have to cause you to lose sleep! Here are five simple ways to move your IT infrastructure hassle free.

Tips for your next IT Relocation

Start Planning as Early as Possible

It’s never too early to start planning your move in detail. The more time that you take to plan, the more likely it is that you’ll have a smooth and hassle-free move. By starting the planning process early, you can avoid the last minute issues that can cost time and money when you’re in a rush and pressed for time. It’s recommended that you give your Internet Service Providers, your telephone network, and all other important providers at least 75 days (two and a half months) notice in advance, according to Cabling Solutions. That way, any and all details can be worked out without incurring any additional charges because of late notice.

Get Insurance

Before moving your IT equipment, Tech Republic suggests ensuring that you or your mover has insurance. Getting your equipment broken or otherwise damaged sucks, but it happens to even the best of movers. A simple accident while moving could easily cost your business tens of thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses. Shop around for the best insurance plan to ensure that even if your equipment is damaged or destroyed, you’re fully covered.

Consider Space and Layout

Before moving, take into consideration the space and layout available to you. Your new office may require a totally different configuration from your previous one, meaning that you may have to design a totally different layout. The configuration also may make it difficult for any large or bulky IT equipment to be positioned for maximum efficient use. In addition, the layout of your office can impact your IT infrastructure, such as adding to expensive cabling or cooling needs. Carpets can generate static electricity, causing reboots or even equipment failure, according to Cabling Solution. It’s important to decide on the best possible configuration for your office and figure out where your equipment will go before you start the moving process

Back Up Your Data Remotely

Before moving, ensure that all your important data is both safely backed up in a retrievable location and tested to ensure that it is backed up properly. Your move may leave you unable to access your equipment for longer than you expected, or you may run into an emergency where you’ll have to access that data immediately, or an important piece of equipment may be damaged while being moved, losing all the data within. Whatever the case, having your data backed up in an easily accessible remote location means that even if your primary data storage equipment is damaged, you can quickly retrieve the necessary information.

Hire a Professional

Engaging the services of a professional IT relocation company like Greenlight is guaranteed to make your move easier, according to Green Light IT. Although we live in a DIY age, moving your IT equipment is simply too important to delegate to someone without a proven track record and experience, even if it is yourself! Relocation service professionals can quickly troubleshoot problems that you may not even be aware of and also give much needed assistance with moving both physical equipment and services from one location to another.

For some businesses, office relocation can be a nightmare. Equipment loss, extra moving charges, and data loss can have a huge negative impact on your business profitability. However, by following the above advice, you can rest easy in knowing that your IT department will have a hassle free relocation.

“I know we are backed up so our business is fine”

“I know we are backed up so our business is fine” 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Backup and Disaster RecoveryIf I asked you what the balance of your superannuation was right now, would you be able to provide me with an exact figure? I wouldn’t be able to.

You sort of just know your super is there—every now and then you get a statement, and you really only pay attention if your super company is losing you money.

A simple question I often ask clients is “Ok, somebody has just stolen your servers, or there’s a fire that destroys them. What is your disaster recovery plan to get your business up and running, and how long will it take?”

Usually, I’m met with one of three responses:

  • A blank look, and seconds of awkward silence.
  • “It’s all on the offsite copies!”
  • “I’m not sure.”

Once we set something up, it’s very easy to forget the fine details.  Just like your superannuation.

The reality is that without a proper plan, it could be days or even weeks to get that data from the backups back into a working environment to get back to business.

Having backups is great, but it’s only a piece of the puzzle.

How many days could your business could afford to remain closed? One day? Two days? What would happen if you had to close shop for a full week?

If a major disaster were to take place, being inactive for more than a day could start impacting heavily on your business. Think I’m exaggerating?

A recent report found that in the event of a major data loss incident, 4 in 5 businesses either never re-open or close within the next 12 months.  The scary thing is, 33% of Australian SMEs are not employing any means of data redundancy (Source: Acronis’ Global Disaster Recovery Index 2012).

Think about all those years of hard work down the drain, for a staggering 80% of businesses just like yours.

Conclusion

If you have a disaster recovery plan, great. Test it. Regularly. If you haven’t already, check out Mark Farrell’s 3-part disaster recovery plan series here.

If you don’t have one in place, get one. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a tiny start-up or have hundreds of employees. Have that conversation with your team, so that at least you know what is at stake, and how you plan to minimise your risk.

Greenlight ITC specialises in putting in place comprehensive disaster recovery plans, which we test regularly. This ensures that in the event of a disaster, there is no margin for error. But it’s more than just protecting your business. It’s about protecting your livelihood, the livelihood of your staff, and even your customers. Make sure your business is ready.

Backing up your Surface RT

Backing up your Surface RT 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

surface-rt-backupI recently wrote a short review about the Surface RT for business use. Well, you apparently picked one up and asked us how to back it up. So let’s jump in.

We all know the importance of backing up your data.  This is even more important for ultra-mobile devices like tablets and ultrabooks.  These devices get dropped, wet, left in taxis, pubs and restaurants.   We also let our children play with them, who may install all sorts of apps with potential malware.

Now there is a plethora of backup and file replication software for regular Windows PCs, so you’d think this would apply to the Tablets, right?  The problem is that Windows Surface RT tablets have a different processor, as well as a tablet-optimized version of Windows 8.  This means that regular Windows software can’t be installed. However all is not lost.

Normally when we do a backup, we like to take an ‘image’ of the machine.  This allows us to restore everything from a single file, or even the entire operating system quickly in the event of a disaster. Since there are currently no third party tools to do this on the Windows Store for Surface RT, we have to take the image manually.  To do this, search for ‘recovery’ under settings (intuitive, right?), then you can back up to an external USB hard disk.  Given that most users will likely not go through this process on a regular basis, Microsoft has fortunately put some rudimentary backup functionality in by default.

There are three essential software components of any computer. These are: the underlying Operating System (in this case, Windows 8 RT); the applications (such as Office 2013); and user data (such as your Word documents). Each of these has backups managed in a different way.

For the Operating System, the Surface keeps a 4Gb partition on the local hard disk with an original copy of the operating system.  This will be used to reinstall Windows back to its initial configuration when you use the ‘restore to defaults’ option.  You might need to do this if Windows update ever fails for some reason.

For the Applications, you will almost always source these from the Windows Store.  Every app that you purchase and download gets linked to your Microsoft Live account. So if you ever have to replace or completely reinstall your tablet, it’s simply a matter of logging onto the Windows Store with the same credentials and your apps will already be there ready to download again.

Lastly, there are your data files such as your Word documents and Excel spread sheets.  This is where SkyDrive comes in.  SkyDrive comes free with your Windows Live account and gives you 7GB of free storage that will sync with your desktop PC, assuming you also use Windows 8 and use the same Microsoft account.  The thing to note with SkyDrive is that it will keep only keep a cached copy of Office documents so you can work without wi-fi.   For other file types such as PDFs, you will need to copy them out of the SkyDrive and onto your desktop or documents folder on the tablet if you ever need to access the offline.