Resilient, Reliable Cloud Systems for Your Home Office and Business
Updated: May 18, 2020
Here at Source 1 Solutions, we know how important it is to have a reliable business disaster recovery plan.
The world changed drastically in a rapid fashion, effecting internet stability and infrastructure for everyone; furthermore, many businesses have been forced to either support more virtual connections to their private network or expand their networks entirely. The increased load on internet service providers (ISPs) has proven to be an interesting hurdle, and we’re all doing our best to manage the resources we have available to us.
Since the infrastructure provided by some ISPs or home cable providers leaves a little to be desired, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that our disaster recovery and business continuity plans need to be more concrete than ever. This means keeping your information safe in the event of data loss or hardware failures.
Without data, your business simply can’t function - especially within this age of extreme reliance upon technology.
For this reason, we’ve created a list of reliable, resilient systems that work well for remote access so that you and your employees can continue working to stay productive. After all, if you aren’t online, your business isn’t running.
If you have questions, issues or would like to discuss, feel free to reach out to me directly, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy!
One of the many things you can do to protect your business is to move your critical applications to the cloud in its entirety. This allows your employees to be connected to applications, regardless of where they are logged in; it also allows you to monitor your employee’s business more effectively. Many businesses already use public services like Azure, AWS and Google cloud systems, but there are also private systems that can be implemented fairly quickly.
In addition to this, we also highly recommend that you have access reporting for your cloud infrastructure - this allows you to monitor who is accessing what, and why.
It’s unlikely that your employees will try to take advantage of the company while at home, but as the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. More importantly, the security of data and corporate information is always critical to business operations – cloud operations may open more avenues of attack for “bad characters” on the internet.
With de-localized, cloud infrastructure comes some potential drama; it’s of the utmost importance that your business’s backbone has monitoring and alert features. If there is a problem, you won’t always notice right away, leading to slow-downs and employee-facing issues that not everyone will catch. In addition, these systems are great for simple maintenance and control. There are plenty of monitoring tools available: SolarWinds, Automate, PRTG, and OpManager are some of the tools that our system engineers utilize.
Email and Collaboration Tools
If you aren’t already using collaboration tools for your business, it would be worth looking into for your remote employees. In this current environment it is necessary as it is difficult for some people to feel connected and part of a larger team while working from home. We recommend utilizing O365 - Exchange, SharePoint, Teams, and office tools for your collaboration and email needs as well as the pure meeting and conferencing apps such as Webex and GOTOMeeting. These are robust systems that can handle any amount of strain you throw at them.
While it may feel like your employees are more distanced from the customers, Information systems teams are still working together to keep the business going. Client management is an integral part of your business - without it, you have no sales. Choose a platform that handles the caseload you need to stay operative while functioning at a level that your current employees can handle. We recommend systems like ServiceNow, Kaseya, and Connectwise and other cloud-based tools for your Service Desk needs.
SDWAN, VPN and Voice Over Internet
Usually, large offices have landlines or a common VOIP system in place; it’s a little bit more difficult to implement quality systems like this over a variety of locations. It’s most effective, therefore, to have a system that relies on Software Defined WAN or Virtual Private Networks (VPNs); we recommend Cisco, Fortinet, Juniper for interconnectivity needs. If you are looking into a simple, cloud based VOIP, we suggest platforms like Cisco, Vonage, and RingCentral. You may also be interested in looking into softphone systems for your employees so that they can use their own mobile phones.
Regardless of whether your employees utilize a corporate VPN solution, you will need to know that any information sent through their personal internet connection is protected and safe. Since many remote employees are using personal computers for company work, the risk is always high for the spread of malware, adware, and spyware. You should require that your employees all have some type of protection on their personal computers to protect company data. Most major providers offer appliances and cloud-based applications that are always online to keep your information safe.
Cloud Backup and Data Replication
As we’re all aware, data can be lost through a number of pathways, most of which are not in your control as a business owner. It’s better to have redundant data recovery processes in place than to wish you had them in the first place. If there’s one place companies shouldn’t skimp on, it must be data recovery. Considering the high stakes, we recommend Veeam, Zerto, Nakivo, and Datto; these are reliable, sturdy systems that can handle pretty much anything.
When considering cloud access for your business’s needs, it’s important to remember the infrastructure available to your employees. During this volatile time, we’re seeing effects on internet connectivity and reliability in general; your employees have little to no control over this. Providing optimal solutions will be a puzzle, surely, but it won’t be an impossible one.