HardSoft are now offering USB 3 ports as an extra option on our leases. This is particuarly useful on servers and graphics workstations as it offers 10X the speed of USB 2. As external storage has got bigger then the need to copy data has become increasigly frustrating due to speed. Buffalo offer 1TB hard drives as do Freecom. As from April HardSoft will be configuring our leased Servers with USB 3 back up as standard.
Andrew loves computers and the way the market is evolving to a 'pay as you go' model against the old methodology of CapEx spending. A background of sourcing lease financing for Start Up businesses means he is perfectly place to provide insightful commentary on computing for new businesses.
If you have Macs your current network solution is likely to include a Mac mini, or even an XServe, configured with additional Server Apps from the App Store to enable functions such as file sharing and permissions etc.
The big issue with this is that since the old OSX server upgrade to the new version of MacOS High Sierra came into effect and server functionality has been severely reduced as Apple pull back support for Servers and push towards Cloud only Servers.
Apple have also removed FTP and iOS File sharing from the Server App, which means that it is no longer a network manager, and has become more like the office junior/filing assistant. When you combine this with the fact that the Mac Mini tech is now getting fairly old, with it not having been updated since late 2014, plus that it’s missing important items such as Thunderbolt 3, and it becomes clear that the functionality has reduced to the point of being almost useless. Which, let’s face it, is not a great deal of use to most businesses!
Switch to Windows Server 2016
For the more security conscious network owners who also want to control their data, the answer is to move to a Windows based server. Particularly as High Sierra is in fact now super compatible with Microsoft Windows Server 2016.
Microsoft have in turn improved support for Macs with Windows 2016 Server the de-facto standard for remote access, file sharing and security in the Mac world. HP – who make the Servers to run Server 2016 – have recently upgraded their range, which is something that only happens every few years, with the new Proliant Gen10 Servers trail blazing on security. This is another indication that Mac users are likely to be turning to Windows Servers to rectify any issues with their Server functionality.
Small businesses have become increasingly complex with most of them having multiple devices and operating systems. In the past, life was a little easier as most devices would be running some kind of edition of Windows but in the last five years, there has been a shift. Windows PCs are still being used but they’ve been joined by Mac desktops and notebooks, iOS and Android mobile devices, a ever increasing number of Windows mobile devices and computers.
Time to Strengthen your Network
With a multitude of systems available and in use, it’s more important than ever to strengthen your business with a dedicated Server, particularly if you’re running Macs that have the reduced functionality which High Sierra brought with it.
Our standard 5-user iMac network is the perfect leasing solution for small creative businesses. Starting at £58 per week plus VAT on a three year flexible lease with an inclusive warranty. Microsoft Office for Mac 2016 or Office 365 can be added for all Macs as can Printers. For more information on the HP Proliant Gen10 Servers take a look at our fact sheet. All Mac leasing packages include everything to run your business with your choice of Support and Installation options. For more information on networks and servers, give our expert sales team a call on 020 7111 1643, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cloud computing is becoming more and more common place as time goes on but is it really the best solution for hosting your data and all of your needs when it comes to storage and should you retire your old Server for the new Cloud options ?
Something that is still an issue in the UK is our fairly outdated Broadband infrastructure and one of the Key things to remember is that if there is no internet there is no data. Slow speeds means slow access to your data. Even at one of our offices in Shoreditch the speed is a maximum of 16GB. And that is in the heart of what is so-call TechCity. This reason alone almost seems to end the argument for Cloud Computing, but what would be the best solution for a small to medium business when there are so many options available.
People like to have things they can see, buying an intangible product never sits well with most people (who relishes paying an insurance premium for example) so there has to be peace of mind in seeing a Server in its cabinet sitting in the corner of an office. That all important box definitely exists and on it the critical data that your business relies on for its income is definitely there. Couple that with the fact when you cut back all the talk of the excessive costs of hardware the amount of money you could pay per seat to go to the Cloud soon adds up. Especially when migrating your established software onto Cloud versions often carry subscription fees like Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft also with their latest SBS Server offerings are starting to migrate the Exchange components to the Cloud- again with a subscription.
At HardSoft as a lease specialist we like to think we help side step the issue of Hardware cost as well. We could supply a new start business with a HP Proliant Server with 5 PC’s all networked including Backup solutions and the actually seats for each user at an affordable lease price of just £46 + VAT per week. Leasing a Server is inclusive of support and installation – basically £40 per user per month which comfortably undercuts a suitable equivalent cloud solution. For 3 years you will have no other costs to manage your IT unless you choose higher levels of support, any issues can be quickly and diligently handled by our team of Engineers remotely and all equipment will carry a 3 Year Hardware warranty. And you get tangible versions of Microsoft Office 2013 without the potential subscription costs that can approach £400 over three years. And as an Offer we have a CashBack rebate of up to £500 when you lease a Server.
This doesn’t mean there is no place for the Cloud and certainly as costs come down these options will begin to become more viable for small businesses. Even now part of our Server lease packages includes Cloud backup of up to 1TB of Data critical to your business. You can rest safe in the knowledge if someone robs the office or worse the building burns down. Cloud backup you would have quick easy access to that all important stuff that makes the company tick even from the handy Smartphone app that we have.
So the Cloud has its place certainly for secure and easy backups but the day when Cloud Storage replaces your own dedicated Server seem almost years away.
So whether you are a new start or an established small to medium business in our opinion it is not the time to step to Cloud. So if it is a fresh Network install or a refresh of older systems give HardSoft a call to discuss how we can support your next install with our Flexi Lease and what our team of Engineers could do to make the whole process as painless as possible while keeping Monthly Cost down. For more information email email@example.com or call our sales team today on 0207 1111 643.
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In the world of big business, disaster recovery and business continuity are of the most paramount importance with companies spending millions on solutions to keep their staff, departments and business working no matter what happens. However for smaller businesses disaster recovery and business continuity can take a back seat due to time and monetary constraints leaving the door open to costly and damaging IT disaster. In this guide I will be giving you a few ways of quickly and easily providing protection for your business, without spending great deals of money……..though if you were to lease one of our PC or Mac Networks then all these are included.
- Surge Protect– A surge protector is a device, normally in the form of a multi plug adapter, that protects your computer equipment from power surges. A power surge is an increase in voltage above the normal level in a flow of electricity. In the UK, the standard voltage is 230 volts. Should the voltage rise significantly above 230 volts, your surge protector will cut the power and ground any extra voltage in order to avoid damage to your important computer equipment. Surge Protectors are fairly inexpensive as well costing circa £30. Many manufacturers like Belkin will include insurance as well, should the surge protector fail at all, covering you in all eventualities. A UPS or Uninterruptible Power Supply is like a big car battery that includes the surge protection and will keep a system going for 10-15 minutes during a power outage- just enough time to safely shut down a system.This is a must for a Server
system where data is centrally stored. Every Server we offer on our computer leasing includes a 1500VA UPS.
- Onsite Backup– Data is quite simply the most important element of your IT infrastructure. Regardless of the new iMac you may have or the all singing all dancing HP Z Workstation; without data they are glorified calculators. It is estimated that 6% of all PCs and servers will suffer an episode of data loss in a given year. That is more than 1 in 20! Combined with the fact that 60% of companies who lose all of their data will shut down within 6 months; it is essential that you have some form of backup in place. If you do not have a server this can be as simple as using a memory stick to backup the data portion of your hard drive, this method means that you will have to give every member of staff a memory stick, but with an 8GB stick now costing as little as £5 this shouldn’t be a problem. Those with a server however can benefit from automated / semi automated backup solutions. This can be as simple as an external hard drive plugged into the server which takes a full backup every night to a multitude of hard drives that take full backup every night and are swapped over every day giving you a bigger scope of backups to recover files that may have been lost but not realised straight away. It will also allow you to take your backups offsite should the worst happen to your building, fire or theft. Every server from HardSoft comes with a backup solution as standard, but if you wish to discuss your current solution give our sales team a call.
- Cloud backup– whilst we always recommend an onsite backup solution as a minimum the next level up is Cloud backup. This is a backup that is done via the internet overnight. A Cloud backup protects you from issues such as fire and theft at your business, but it also protects you from human error such as forgetting to switch backups or not having a backup plugged in at all. With the recent popularity in Cloud products, prices have been tumbling for Cloud backup so the once prohibitive costs are no longer there. Again if this is something you would like to add to your business give our sales team a call and they can tailor a solution for you. Leasing a network system from HardSoft includes either 100GB or 200Gb of daily data back up for a full three years peace of mind.
- Email Continuity & Anti Virus – With E Mail firmly overtaking the phone call as the primary source of contact, it is ever more important to make sure your emails continue working. However unless you have measures in place, should your email server go down or your office become available; it can take 24 hours plus to propagate changes in the event of your disaster; and it will take a further 24 hours to revert back should you need to. By using a third party company to redirect your email you can have the ability to quickly and easily redirect your email to a new computer, IP address etc should you need to. The added benefit is that companies can offer email backup; usually up to 30 Days; and antispam solutions at the same time. At HardSoft the solution we use is the AVG Cloudcare or for larger networks look at Sophos.
At HardSoft Computers we take Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity seriously and as such are happy to advise on your current solutions and make suggestions to help. Leasing a PC or Mac Server package includes all the se four disaster protection solutions as standard. Leasing a 5 user PC system plus the Server with all these starts at £39 per week for a three year solution that also includes warranty.
If you a Mac user or a PC business user then we all tend to start with 2 or 3 computers then add a few more and very quickly you have a small network running. However by the time you are at 5 or 6 computers you really must consider the benefits of adding a dedicated Server to the business. This though in these difficult times can be considered a luxury and just another expense but with HardSoft Computers our flexible leasing scheme makes it cheaper, and easier, than you think.
Its a fact that there are actually less Servers being used in small business today than a year ago. It’s not that business doesn’t need them its just that they’ve become too unafordable in the recession.As a small business expands there are considerations ……. Is my data backed up? Are emails safe? Can I monitor my employees ? Can I block sites in certain hours? If you answer NO to any of these then now’s the time to get a dedicated Network Server. Usually cost is the normal barrier to an SME getting a network server but at HardSoft we offer the range of HP Proliant Servers on lease for just £ 18 a week or the Apple Mac mini Sever for just £7.80 a week on our flexible leasing scheme.Can I get Support ? Is it actually affordable ? leasing has the answer.
Our flexible business lease means you can pay just one monthly payment to get a server fully installed. Our most popular server is the HP Proliant ML330 which can be fully installed for less than £ 18.80 per week, this comes complete with automatic “cloud” backup facility, UPS battery backup and Draytek 2830n Router. Also if you have a mix of PC and Macs then you can link them all to the HP server. Our Apple & Microsoft trained engineers will install your Server and move any data across from your existing computers. The server then will store all you data and as the emails will be configured to run through the server so they again will be backed up on the HP Proliant ML330 server, all this on a flexible lease for only £18.80 a week.
If however you are purely a Mac business then use the Apple Mac mini server. Via our flexible leasing scheme we can install an Apple Mac mini server with Lacie Cloud backup and Draytek Router for only £ 13 per week. Like the HP option this will allow all your Apple Macs to share data, use shared calenders and diaries. Plus your data is all backed to the “cloud”. Finally when you have a HP Proliant ML330 or Apple Mac mini server using you can give users full remote working either from home or another office and email to remote devices like Apple iPhones. Plus you have complete control of your users and what they surf by using black lists to block them from certain websites and control their data access.
HardSoft offer a choice of Installation packages and support options when you chose your managed IT solution from them. The chepest bronze option includes Support but no installation . The Silver Package includes a fully manged installation with Cloud back up. The Gold lease option includes all this with a more pro-active support approach that also includes new AVG CloudCare.
Call us to find out more about these benefits of our Flexi Lease and a new Server. We have many many years of experience and with sveral offices around the UK HardSoft can offer local support when you need it.