Premise Cloud Networking For SMBs

As exciting as "going cloud" can be for SMBs, for some, only on-premises infrastructure and applications will do, whether that's because of bandwidth, data set, regulations, or simply customer choice. We have devised an alternative known as the "premises cloud," based on a fast, flexible, and scalable network design that is hosted on premises at a cost that is within the reach of larger SMBs. The guiding principle here, as Einstein famously said, is: "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

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The Five Most Glaring Gaps in SMB IT

Every small business is different, but every IT provider sees common problems at customer after customer. One customer may be great about security, but terrible at backup. Another may perform backups constantly, but run 10-year-old computers that turn worker productivity into a pipe dream. Resellers from all over the country provide some horror stories, and what they have done to convince customers to patch the glaring holes in their IT infrastructure. But sometimes, clients refuse the best advice, then crash and burn. Use the bad examples as teaching tools in your next customer or prospect meeting.

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Keeping Your Cloud Up

If cloud services or the connectivity to them are down, then so are your users. And since either a service or broadband failure alone can bring productivity to a halt, the perceived availability rate even for well-managed cloud offerings can effectively be 99 percent or less. That translates to days of downtime a year. "That will improve. It's already dramatically better. But it's not a utility. It's not anywhere near that reliable," says Liberman, president of system builder and network integrator Net Sciences Inc., based in Albuquerque, N.M. Even if a public cloud computing solution delivers the 99.9 percent, or "three nines," availability it promises in its service-level agreement, a typical user can expect 8.76 hours of downtime a year. Murphy's Law ensures that outage will occur precisely when a deadline looms.

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Are Cloud Vendors Cutting Out The Channel?

Over the past few years, cloud computing has emerged as a viable way to confront a wide array of IT challenges, ranging from managing infrastructure and resources to managing data within enterprise applications. However, the technology is also radically altering the landscape for channel firms. It's no secret that a growing number of vendors-including the likes of Microsoft, IBM, HP, Oracle, Dell, Salesforce.com, and Symantec-are taking the direct route to businesses and consumers by offering their products and solutions through the cloud.

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What are BYOD's (Bring Your Own Device) Biggest Risks?

The first thing every business with BYOD devices needs is a policy to cover their use, loss, and/or theft. That can easily be tied into an acceptable usage policy that defines:

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