Windows Azure and Server 2012


I recently attended Microsoft’s Cloud OS Signature Event Series in Denver, CO.  The main focus of the event was their new cloud service called Azure and Server 2012 which launched last month.  While there are tons of new changes and features to play with from a technical standpoint, my main question was what does this mean for the small business?

From the get go, Microsoft made it clear this is one of the biggest updates to their server operating system thanks to the heavy focus on cloud computing and their new service Azure.  This new cloud service will allow you to host anything from servers to web sites.  From your primary server you can easily manage servers whether it is on your network, Azure, or a 3rd party hosting such as Rackspace.

Its also apparent Microsoft is setting their sights on solutions like Citrix and trying to offer a simpler and more integrated solution for virtual desktops.  If you organization uses Citrix, does it mean that you should move to Server 2012?  Maybe.  Citrix definitely has a place still depending on how your organizations needs and work flow of employees.

Like most things new in the world of computers I would recommend holding off as Microsoft and early adopters iron out the bugs.  Speak with your IT administrator or follow the link below to find out more.





Dropbox is increasing their tier sizes to paying users for free!


There is some great news coming down the wire from drop box, for its paid user accounts.

Recently the Dropbox Company revealed that it would be increasing the storage space available to its paying users at no extra cost! Dropbox is planning on raising the 50 and 100 GB tiers with 100 and 200GB tiers for FREE! This will allow users to really take advantage of online cloud storage.

Also, there is great news on the wire for power users too, Dropbox plans on pushing out a 500GB plan for those users that require much more space, allowing more file portability for businesses! There is no word yet however on how much this will cost, but keep your eyes peeled.

These upgraded Dropbox plans will went live late night Tuesday 7-10-12, and the DropBox team converted all the paid users by early Wednesday morning 7-11-12.

What is this Dropbox some might ask? Dropbox is an innovated online storage solution. No more need to loft hard drives and pen drives around anymore. As long as you have internet access, you would be able to grab your files off the internet. The days of accidently forgetting to bring a pen drive or leaving a file on your local desktop at home are now over!


Jolicloud ME Takes Personal Cloud To The Next Level


Paris based cloud services firm, Jolicloud has taken the next step in cloud evolution with the release of private beta for Jolicloud Me. Jolicloud Me is an integration application for all your cloud based services on the web.


Jolicloud Me allows you to sync all cloud based services on the web and keep them organized by file type in one location. Jolicloud Me indexes all the cloud services you currently use in real time and sifts them into files types for easy searching and sharing. Jolicloud Me is the first application of this type to integrate with Facebook, Twitter, Picasa, Flickr, and instagram, with hopes of having integration for email soon. The idea being that if you are running, Jolicloud Me, email attachments with automatically filter in and be organized and searchable from a central location.



The prospect of this feature is very exciting considering the experience almost everyone has had sifting through email trying to find that one attachment, using only a vague memory of when that attachment was sent and what it was called.   The nature of Jolicloud’s function has brought comparison’s to popular services such as Dropbox and BOX, but Jolicloud’s CEO recently pointed out that Dropbox is not a competitor of Jolcloud’s. He was quick to explain that their mission is to simply people’s relationship to their own data.  What do you think?

Does your small business need “The Cloud”?


For the last 10 years, owning a small business server (SBS) was a mark of legitimacy for small companies. A SBS meant you could have your own customized email addresses; you could run your own custom applications—database, office productivity, CRM, finance, etc; you had a secure place to store files; you had a central resource to manage and safeguard your network; whatever your business need was, there was probably a SBS-based application for you. In 2012, SBS still offers these valuable features and is still a great solution for many small businesses.

But there is a downside to SBS, and that downside is maintenance. Servers require updates. Security threats to SBS systems require that additional software and hardware be purchased (antivirus, firewall); computer hardware can fail at any time, making performance and support costs unpredictable; data loss is a constant concern, which requires SMBs to purchase and maintain backup systems. Because everything has to be managed by the server, systems integration is a challenge, and the answer to the challenge is conformity, compelling most SMBs into use only a narrow band of features and devices. When you think about the IT costs that go into owning a SBS—backup, hardware replacements, security services, warranties, tech support—and then compare that to the amount of money that was actually spent on productivity software, that ratio, in and of itself, explains why the SBS era may be starting to wane.

Now, imagine a world where you didn’t have to pay for all the other hardware and maintenance, and you only had to pay for the solutions that made your employees more productive. Well, that, in a nutshell, is what Cloud Computing is all about.

If you’re the average SMB owner or manager, at this point you’ve probably already heard about the Cloud and you probably have a basic grasp of its significance. If not, feel free to watch our recent webinar “Cloud Computing for Small Business” here.

But as Cloud-based services continue to develop, the question has quickly changed from, “what is the Cloud?”, to “should I move to the Cloud?”, to “when should I move to the Cloud?” And the answer to that question is, probably sooner than you think.

Cloud-based email services have already exploded in popularity (email being, actually, the most complicated internal service the typical SMBs runs). Cloud-based CRM systems are also well-established, led by early innovator Beyond that, Cloud services are developing fast, and at Everon, we are constantly reviewing new products in hopes of finding ways to improve the value of IT services for our clients. In the past I’ve advised clients that the time to move to the Cloud is when their existing hardware is at retirement age. But I think we are getting to a stage now where the right time to move is simply when a service is available that can help your business. It’s not going to get any less frustrating for business owners when they receive service bills in the thousands for issues like hardware failures, virus infections, or accidental data loss. The sooner we move to the Cloud and make those sorts of issues the thing of the past, the sooner we can focus on what matters–value and productivity!

Everon Technology can help move you to cloud today. We’ll work with you to see what solutions may be of benefit to your business and we’ll even give you your first month of cloud services for free with any cloud implementation. Register here to contact one of our cloud specialists.


Ensuring your Business Survives a Disaster


This year there have been several natural events that have reminded us about the fragile nature of things. Just this past weekend a powerful ‘Noreastern’ hit the New England area leaving millions without power.

These events remind us that we must be prepared. At home you pack extra water, candles, propane and stock canned food for just such an emergency. But what do you do for your business? Sure you make backups, but do you regularly store this valuable data off site? What happens to the email you depend on to communicate with clients and vendors, when your email server is down?

Here are some reminders of things you can do to help ensure that your business is well prepared:

1) Get a battery backup (UPS) capable of keeping your key equipment running for 4-8 hours. Contact your local power company and find out how long the average power outage is in your area and get double that amount of battery backup on your equipment
2) If keeping your equipment running is vital to your organization (i.e. hospital, broadcast) then put a backup diesel generator in place that will kick in when your batteries are near depletion
3) Backup your data and get that data offsite
4) Put an email continuity solution in place so you can receive and send emails in the event your email server is down.
5) Virtualize. If you have access to a big enough Internet connect, then store your servers and desktops as virtual versions “in the cloud” so that you can access them from anywhere and at any time.

Have the events this year taught you anything when it comes to your business being prepared?

What steps have you taken to keep your business up and running in the event of a disaster?