Category: Hosted and Cloud Services

What are SIP Trunks?

As a business owner, you are constantly looking for ways to cut costs and re-prioritize your spending. With all the services you are tasked with managing (merchant services, shipping services, payroll services, etc.) it’s understandable you haven’t mastered the knowledge of each industry. Maybe you’ve heard of SIP trunking, and maybe a friend of yours saves money by using it with his business, but you’d like to know more about how it works before you contact providers.

Conventional analog phone lines have dominated business communication for a century. Long distance and international calls can cost a fortune. The fact that a traditional copper-based phone line can only handle one call at a time means you’re constantly investing in a new “trunk”, every time you need to add call capacity.

By allowing you to make calls over the Internet, VoIP can reduce costs of long distance calls while making it far easier to scale up the number of calls you need to make at once.

A SIP trunk is the virtual version of an analog phone line. Using SIP trunks, a SIP provider can connect one, two, or twenty channels to your PBX, allowing you to make local, long distance, and international calls over the Internet. If you have an on-premises PBX in your office, a SIP trunk provider can connect to you and allow you to make outbound calls on your existing system, without restrictions on the number of concurrent calls.

Metered SIP trunking is delivered and charged on usage, so each minute will incur a charge. Metered trunking is very flexible in that there are no limitations to the number of concurrent calls, as you are just charged for each minute of each call. Metered services allows businesses the flexibility to dynamically add calls and just pay for the additional usage.

Channelized SIP trunking is a prepaid option that provides unlimited inbound and outbound local and long distance calls on per channel/call basis. Each Channel provides the ability to make or receive a single call. Once you have filled all of your channels you will be unable to make or receive additional calls. Channels can always be added for more capacity by contacting your provider. This type of SIP trunking service allows businesses a way to easily budget their telecom spending and is similar in capacity handling to copper phone lines.

Device configurations need to be backed up as well

Device configurations need to be backed up often to maintain a repository of backups ready to be restored in case of emergencies. In large enterprises with more number of devices, this task of getting the device configuration backup up becomes a huge mundane task taking up most of the time of an admin. Being able to automate configuration backups will free up a network admin’s time to do productivity enhancing tasks.

Any change made to the device configuration in a network carries the possibility of an error. An erroneous configuration change can cause network issues ranging from performance degradation to network outage. This is particularly true for those network devices that are crucial for the infrastructure. Any change in such devices should be detected and the configuration file of the device must be backed up.

Unauthorized configuration changes often wreak havoc to the business continuity and hence detecting changes is a crucial task. Detection should be real-time to have effective control. Network Configuration Manager offers real-time configuration change detection.

All of these are reasons why you should have an automated software solution to backup and monitor your network infrastructure.

Secure Offsite server backup software provides more than piece of mind

Data is the most important aspect of your computer. An operating system can be reinstalled and so can applications, but it may be difficult or impossible to recreate your original data.

It is essential that you always back up your important information and have a plan for recovering from a system failure. An attacker could crash a computer’s operating system or data may be corrupted or wiped out by a hardware problem.

Whether you run a small business or work for a large corporation, your data is important as that’s the powerhouse of information for making future strategies, providing better services to clients and for measuring both challenges and progress of your business.

Your organizational data needs to be protected for growth of your server backup and you cannot and should not simply consider it as a secondary task to be given attention to in your spare time as data once lost can never be recovered to the full extent.

There are many factors which cause loss of information, like hardware failure, power outage, data corruption, human errors, disasters, and criminal activities like hacking, theft, malicious activities etc.

With an offsite backup solution, you can securely access, restore or administer data from anywhere. It guarantees high level of security and peace of mind as it allows data storage off site/online. It helps you in saving time and costs too.

It provides much better protection against the natural disasters. Also allows unlimited amount of data retention. Moreover, it does not need any manual tasks to change tapes, label CDs etc.  Thus, remote backup is the preferred method of backup.

Laptop data backup and desktop data backup are just as important

Laptop data backup and desktop data backup is just as important as enterprise data backup. Whether your laptops and desktops are for business or personal use, you want to make sure they’re backed up correctly because the data on them is often more vulnerable than data that is backed up on a server storage system.

We put server storage systems some level of redundancy, so if a drive goes bad, it doesn’t take our data. Usually with a laptop or desktop, you have a single drive with no redundancy, and if that fails then the entire system fails.

The data that is on a laptop and desktop is typically most recent data for a lot of organizations.  The typical policy of “we don’t back up laptop and desktop data.” expects employees to copy it to the server on a regular basis. Those companies are fooling themselves because it’s typically not going to happen.

There are a couple of main differences between laptop data backup and enterprise data backup.   You can’t schedule it like you would a normal backup system, it’s possible the device will not be on, or may be directly connected to the network.  It’s very common for people to shut off their laptops, power-off their systems or hibernate their PCs as they go home.

You first have to be aware of all of those issues, and not simply take a server backup product and start backing up laptops.

Data backup products for laptop data backup and desktop data backup fits in a couple of different categories. From the software perspective, we tend to be talking about continuous data protection (CDP). CDP continuously replicates changes from that laptop. If it doesn’t have an Internet connection; it will cache up those changes and send them once it has one, you’re going to be continuously sending changes throughout the day.

Just because you’ve gone to cloud backup doesn’t mean you can ignore that different pieces of software behave differently. You still need to look at different types of software so that when you look at cloud backup services, you can ask them what they use.

The most common problem is purchasing a data backup product that changes the user experience too much. If you can choose the right backup product, then you can get this job done with relatively little impact.

Our EndPoint Backup product is a hosted service and uses a continuous data protection method and provides a seamless user experience.  Please contact us for more details on this solution for your organization.

Hosted PBX Vs On Premise PBX

There are pros and cons of both hosted PBX as well as on-premise PBX. There are some fundamental differences to each of the systems and they feature advantages that should be known prior to making a decision on one or the other. The move to an IP-PBX business phone system is beneficial regardless of which system is ultimately chosen. However, there are differences and knowing those leads to a better VoIP phone system and a higher level of satisfaction for the company, employees and even callers.

What is Hosted PBX?

Hosted PBX or hosted VoIP, otherwise known as an Internet phone system is one where the provider is responsible for housing the IP-PBX as well as handling the technology required to provide the services to the phone system. The desk sets will plug into a router and the calls, signaling, and features are handled through an IP-PBX server at the provider’s location. The provider of the hosted PBX charges a monthly fee that is inclusive of a minutes package and potentially certain features. Charges can also be at a per minute calling cost. Either one can be affordable depending on the rates. A company that knows the amount of minutes spent on the phone in a given month can make effective cost comparisons. Extended features may come with additional cost.

What is On Premise PBX?

On-premise PBX is also known as an IP-PBX phone system. It is similar to a traditional PBX system that resides at a location, such as a computer equipment room or phone closet. The main difference is that IP routing is done with more current technology. The signaling is done with an IP phone to the IP-PBX server using a LAN. Calls can go through a traditional phone company as well as voice over Internet (VoIP) using SIP trunking. Gateway cards are used to connect the system to the traditional phone company provider. The provider can be the one that already provides service, though a SIP trunk can be configured for use with an Internet service telephone provider (ISTP). An Asterisk based system is the most affordable option for on-premise PBX due to the flexibility that is offered with open source software.

What’s the difference between Office 365 and Microsoft Office

Office 365 is a subscription service that ensures you always have the most up-to-date tools from Microsoft. There are Office 365 plans for home and personal use, as well as for small and midsized businesses, large enterprises, schools, and nonprofits.

All Office 365 plans for home and personal use include Office 2016 with the fully installed Office applications that you’re familiar with, like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, plus extra online storage, ongoing tech support at no extra cost, and more. You can choose to pay for your subscription on a monthly or yearly basis, and the Office 365 Home plan lets you share your subscription with up to four members of your household.

Most of the Office 365 plans for business, schools, and nonprofits include the fully installed applications, but Microsoft also offers basic plans with the online versions of Office, file storage, and email. You decide what works best for you: Smaller businessEnterpriseSchool, or Nonprofit.

Office 2016 is also sold as a one-time purchase, which means you pay a single, up-front cost to get Office applications for one computer. One-time purchases are available for both PCs (such as Office Home & Student 2016) and Macs (such as Office Home & Student 2016 for Mac). One-time purchases don’t have an upgrade option, which means if you plan to upgrade to the next major release, you’ll have to buy it at full price.