NO STRINGS ATTACHED QUALITY IT SUPPORT SERVICES

 

Once a month we make a site visit to physically check the servers (plus associated equipment in the server rack/room) for potential problems. This includes but is not limited to checking the state of the antivirus and firewall of the server and connected client machines, checking that all Windows updates are applied, making sure all software is at the latest stable release, testing the health of the UPS (battery backup), ensuring backups have not only completed but can also be restored if necessary, inspecting the physical components of the server for predicted failures via our monitoring software and checking the servers event logs to resolve any errors or warnings which have been recorded. This information is then taken back to our offices where we action any issues that need attention and then send the client a report which states the status of all of the metrics measured and an action plan for the upcoming month if there is further work required on the server. 

The regular site visits also give us the opportunity to attend to any small issues users at the site might be having but have not contacted us about – this is beneficial for the client as we can attend to several small issues within a short space of time and avoid charging individually for these fixes.


When we check, test and update servers in this way we can ensure that the machine is in the most secure, stable and efficient state that
it can be in. The client is always informed about the health of the server and the status of any ongoing projects or problems so they can proceed with confidence that the risk of server downtime and/or potential data loss is as small as possible.


These checks amount to 3 hours of labor per month, per server which we feel is a worthwhile investment considering that the alternative approach is to only fix problems as they occur. 


Our proactive approach to IT support is what sets us apart from other IT vendors who only respond re-actively once an issue is reported, by which time the damage (or down-time) is already done. 


While we obviously recommend this approach, the ultimate choice is made by the client. There is no obligation to take this service, and the activities that are recommended when we find any issues are always checked with the client for approval before we spend the time. 


The second, and slightly more tricky aspect is the communications and the planning;

  1. Who will assess damage and initiate the plan?
  2. Who will be responsible for carrying out the technological part of the plan?
  3. Who will inform staff, customers and vendors?
  4. What will customers, staff & vendors be told?
  5. Where will you setup temporary operations?
  6. Which key staff will be required to maintain a skeleton operation?
  7. How will you provide a facility for your staff to work during the recovery phase?
  8. What plans do you have in place to fail-back after the recovery is complete?


The third, and most frightening aspect of any disaster recovery plan, is the execution of it. You won't want to write a nice plan, never test it, and just hope everything comes together on the day. You will actually need to test the plan, learn from its' short-comings and then periodically re-test to make sure that the plan stays fresh and takes into account any new developments within your business.


If you'd like help in establishing a plan for your business, then you could do worse than contacting us. Soner Bekir has over twenty-five years experience in writing, testing and executing disaster recovery plans for companies from small local businesses to multinational corporations.

PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE

Preventative Server Maintenance: Is a combination of daily and monthly checks that we perform on servers with the goal of ensuring the servers health and finding problem before they occur. The logic here is that prevention is always better than a cure to problems which may cause server down-time.


The daily checks involve us logging onto the server each morning and checking things like the available space on the hard drive(s), backup status, network connectivity etc. plus having a quick look for anything out of the ordinary. This lets us know that all the servers are available to be accessed should we need to log onto them during the day to help a client resolve any issues.


user support

When making use of our services - what can you expect?

After we have you registered using the New Customer Registration form, and you've installed the support client, then either you can call us, or if you've entered your phone number in the registration form and indicated you'd like us to call, we will call you.


With the support client installed, we will "see" you in our list of active clients, and will be able to request remote access in order to provide support. You will still need to confirm that you will allow support, so don't worry, your machine can't be taken over without your consent, and once the support session is over, nothing is left behind.


Once you have us on the line, the most likely first statement you'll hear from us, is "show us what the problem is", following on from that, we may have a couple of questions to clarify the situation, but typically, we'll be able to dive in and resolve your issue.


Once fixed, we'll take the opportunity to check that everything else is working well on your machine, and it's up-to-date and secured properly, and then, if you have no other problems, we'll sign off and e-mail you a summary of the support session, including any steps taken to fix the problem, so if it happens again - you have a course of action to follow.


DIsASTER RECOVERY

While most businesses make some sort of provision for backups, not many make the effort to actually have a disaster recovery plan in place. While this isn't mandatory, it is good practice, especially when your business is dependent upon the supporting IT to keep operational.


So what does a disaster recovery plan entail?  


The first, and most easily accomplished part of any disaster recovery plan, is the technological part of it:

  1. You are making regular operational backups of your key servers and data
  2. You are storing copies of those backups off-site in a secure location
  3. You are carrying out regular testing to ensure the backups are recoverable
  4. You have your environment & applications well documented (with off-site copies) with all key license-codes, contract details