The Future of MSPs Lies in Adding Value to Cloud Services

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Managed Service Providers (MSPs) spent the last decade or so making a major transformation ― moving from a focus on break/fix to true managed services ― and at the same expanding their list of offerings to become more complete providers.

Now they are going through an arguably even more significant change ― becoming cloud leaders to the SMB market.  To do this effectively, MSPs also need to work with clients on a higher level by acting as a trusted advisor and even offering Virtual CIO (vCIO) services, including partnering with clients to conduct in-depth IT consulting, budgeting, and planning projects. Continue Reading…

Why Is Cloud Backup So Hot? Six Lofty Reasons

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Cloud storage is an everyday thing for many consumers, what with Google Drive, Apple Cloud, Microsoft OneDrive and more. On the backup side, there’s an array of consumer services, and some of the more primary storage solutions can be maneuvered into serving as backup.

Businesses looking for backup need heartier solutions. And for years that answer was tape backup. Continue Reading…

2017 MSP Predictions: ChannelE2E’s Take

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ChannelE2E covers the managed services space like a glove. Its writers talks to top MSP vendor executives and MSPs of all shapes and sizes most every day.

So when the influential web site talks, we listen.

Recently ChannelE2E polished up its trusty crystal ball and peered into the future – and came up with a set of predictions for MSPs in 2017. Make sure to check out the full article, but we were struck by these particular predictions. Continue Reading…

Why You Shouldn’t End 2016 Without an IT Audit

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The end of the year is filled with lots of last minute work – and plenty of employee time off.  Not a good combo. So it’s easy to let things slide. But one item you should not neglect is a year-end IT audit.

Maybe you do this every year and are only now putting it off. Perhaps you’ve never done one and aren’t looking forward to the effort. In either case, we hope you reconsider. While it seems like a lot of work, the time you put in the next few weeks will pay dividends. And with the right technology solution, the time spent can be inconsequential. Continue Reading…

Protect Your Clients’ Data―and Your MSP―with Layered Security

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As an MSP, you have been long aware that your clients need to increase and standardize their IT security defenses to decrease the risk of cyberattacks and possible regulatory fines.  However, did you know that new regulations could extend this risk to your own business?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679), which starts to roll out in 2017 and goes into full effect in May 2018, Continue Reading…

Security is an MSP’s Job One

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Security is by far the toughest challenge faced by end user organizations today — which is why so many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) choose to outsource their security to managed service providers (MSPs). SMBs simply can’t afford the security personnel expense (security experts command top salaries) and don’t have the time to do the constant and detailed work it takes to maintain a safe environment. Nor is this a strategic endeavor for busy SMB IT shops.
Continue Reading…

5 IT Cloud Myths and Beliefs – Debunked, Confirmed and In-Between

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The cloud is still full of mystery. After all, you can’t see and touch your applications and data, and you have less control than with their on-premises counter parts. Now that the cloud is maturing, some issues are becoming clearer.

Here is a reality check on 5 cloud myths and beliefs. Continue Reading…

Happy Birthday, PCI Council! Unfortunately, Compliance Is Not Enough

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To honor the Council’s 10th birthday―and just in time for a new retail holiday season― let’s look back on how retail security challenges have intensified over the past decade.

The PCI Council’s inaugural year coincided with one of the first highly public, holiday-season retail breaches when, in December 2006, retailer giant TJX acknowledged that they had been the victim of a major breach, stemming from an insecure wireless network that was easily attacked by Continue Reading…

How an IT Inventory Exposes Unprotected Systems, Shows What is Out of Date, Supports Proper Hardware and Software Planning, and Helps you Survive a Software Audit

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We old timers remember the emergence of the PC as an IT force. In mainframe dominated organizations, PCs were snuck in, put surreptitiously to work, and then proved themselves more than worthy.

Today, IT itself deploys myriad devices ― so much so they have a hard time keeping track of their own handiwork. And end users and departments are still bringing in their own machines and applications. This has long gone on but in recent years has come to be called Stealth or Shadow IT.

Meanwhile, the average end user has multiple devices: PC, tablet, smartphone, etc. And they are increasingly adept at finding and using new applications.

All this adds up to a major management headache and security threat. IT must get their arms around this problem if they are to provide a safe and effective computing environment.
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Root Cause Analysis for Complex Networks: The Traverse Answer

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Network Root Cause Analysis (RCA) has never been exactly simple. But when networks and IT infrastructure had a simpler architecture, finding a root cause was not overly complex. It was largely either the LAN or the WAN.

Today that relative simplicity has been replaced with ever increasing complexity. Nowadays, we still have LANs, but they often connect servers to other servers and then feed wireless access points which are how end users get to the network.

At the same time, computing is now more distributed. Applications reside both in-house and in the cloud, and some of these are hybrid so the processing is shared between the two. And rare today is the on-premises server that is not virtualized. This turns one server into many and makes it more difficult to find which VM is causing the problem.
Continue Reading…

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