Category: IT INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES

Properly deployed IT Infrastructure services are key to insuring your business IT systems are operating properly. Properly deployed switches, network cabling, network firewalls, servers and desktops are necessary in today’s hi-speed technology environments. If you need properly deployed IT Infrastructure IT Risk Managers can provide you the consulting and IT services you need to make the right choices and to make sure you have the right technologies and IT solutions in place.

08 Apr 2019

5 Things you must know about SD WAN

SD-WAN is a great technology for multi-site networking

5 things you must know about SD-WAN

SD WAN Applications

SD WAN can be leveraged and used in multiple scenarios. Software Defined Networking (SDN) can be leveraged for the Wide Area Network and Cloud based applications. SD WAN can be used for a virtual Wide Area Networking platform that makes great sense for mult-site connectivity. SD-WAN can use multiple Internet connections, has application layer security and is cost effective. It is also easy to deploy, manage and configure, and great for IaaS, and SaaS applications.

Active/Active and Failover Configuration of your Internet Circuits

One of the most valuable capabilities of an SD WAN solution is its ability to aggregate commercial grade less expensive Internet connections and trunk them together or use them in a fail over mode. For instance, you have a site that requires 100% network up-time. You may consider ordering a fiber pipe from AT&T for the main network connection and a hi-speed Comcast Coax connection for backup. The SD WAN solution supports both network connections and they can be aggregated so you can leverage the bandwidth of both connections simultaneously and configure the SD WAN so if one of the connections goes down it will automatically fail-over to the other connection. So rather then have the coax as a passive backup it can be leveraged as an active circuit while simultaneously acting as a backup.

Application Performance and Control

SD WAN is an application aware technology. This means that you can get visibility into your network’s performance and applications in a much more granular manner then any other WAN transport technology out there. Most WAN transport technologies just look at bits and bytes, where SD-WAN sees the applications. SD-WAN allows you to prioritize applications based on its importance. For instance, you can throttle down video traffic and throttle up your business-critical application traffic via an interface across your entire deployment. You also can see the links at all the sites including traffic, speeds, throughput. The technology is also cloud enabled which means it is not necessary to backhaul all the data through a main site for SAAS and IAAS connectivity.

PCI Compliance and more Secure

The SD-WAN controllers are out of band and do not carry any un-encrypted card holder data. The SDWAN also includes Layer 7 application aware firewalls that restrict connections between un-trusted networks and systems in the protected environment. SD-WAN also meets requirements related to the systems hardening requirements as required by PCI. These and other security features meet PCI and DSS compliance standards. Also, SD-WAN offers cloud-based security bypassing the need for backhauling to a main site for filtering, scanning and other security services. SD-WAN’s decentralized security capabilities are great for IAAS and SAAS connectivity.

Less complicated Engineering support required

MPLS and other WAN protocols through the years have required high level engineers like CCIE’s to implement and manage. As costs of WAN engineers have soared and the cost of core networking is also high, SD-WAN provides a great path to have a reasonably price Managed Service for your Wide Area Networking needs. Traditional WAN deployments require manual box by box configurations, also QoS configurations and load balancing are done manually through router Command Line programming. And fail over configurations also are based on router manual configurations based on distance and availability. SD-WAN provides a user-friendly deployment strategy, the heavy technical lifting is done by the SD-WAN provider or SD-WAN Managed Services Provider, easing the burden of Installation, Configuration, Operations and Management.

Cloud Ready SD-WAN

Traditional WAN ties a customer to a private circuit that in most cases requires back-hauling to the centralized site. Whereas SD-WAN gives a direct to the Internet Secure link to the SAAS or IAAS provider. SD-WAN’s multi homing to multiple gateways enable direct access to cloud data centers eliminating back-haul penalties. Also, SD-WAN uses standard base encryption like AES which gives you a secure cloud network. Security and optimization services can be delivered based on application requirements. With SD-WAN’s decentralized architecture security services can be provided locally without the need to back-haul.

Contact Info

If you have further questions about SD WAN & ITRM and you would like further information email rbolda@itriskmgrs.com or call Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370

29 Oct 2018

Data Recovery, Cloud Backup, Business Continuity for Chicago

Data Backup for Chicago Businesses
Cloud Backup and Business Continuity for your Chicago Business

Cloud Backup must include Business Continuity

You may constantly hear scenarios and justifications for off-site backup or what is referred to as cloud backup. An off-site cloud backup is the first piece to a successful disaster recovery strategy, but the most important piece of cloud backup, is being able to restore your data in the event of a disaster. The majority of Chicago companies have an off-site cloud backup solution, but you have to ask yourself how often do you test your ability to recover from a disaster and have you tested your cloud backup system. And most importantly can your business continue operations in the event of a disaster that takes down your systems or takes out your data. The cloud backup solution must also include a way to quickly use the data and begin operations again. This is known as business continuity. IT Risk Managers LLC Business Continuity solution allows a company to back up its data in the cloud, and if a disaster happens, IT Risk Managers Business Continuity solution can spin up a virtual servers in the cloud which can be used as temporary servers until your company business servers are restored.

Cloud backup and business continuity solutions should protect you from the following events

Data backup for End-User Error

Sometimes files get deleted and mistakes get made. An employee may lose important data through clicking on the wrong link, or even clicking on a malicious link. Laptops may get lost or dropped, and days of important work can be lost. A good cloud backup solution from a reputable Chicago Managed IT Services provider can mitigate issues related to user-error, recover the data and keep business operations flowing.

Disaster recovery for Hardware Failures and outages

Hard drives, servers, desktops, and laptops have limited life and can fail causing interruptions in business operations. There are ways that today’s systems can be designed and implemented that limit exposure to hardware failures. Technologies like virtualization, replicated servers, and hardware are a few ways. But, a Business Disaster Recovery (BDR) and Business Continuity system for your Chicago business insures that data is saved, replicated and can be restored quickly and efficiently so it does not affect company operations and the business can continue operating. A good business continuity solution will also enable point in time recoveries, so you can recover data-sets at a very particular point in time. You may need to restore your data at exact point from 3 weeks ago or 3 hours ago. For example one of the cloud backup solutions IT Risk Managers offers Chicago companies are point in time full data backups. We offer 15 fixed recovery point in a twelve month period. Five daily cloud backups, three weekly cloud backups, six monthly and one yearly. This will gave your Chicago business the ability to cover from almost any disaster.

Business Continuity for File Corruption and Software Failure

Software can also fail. Files and data can become corrupted and things maybe deleted without warning. A business continuity solution will enable a recovery of the deleted data or corrupt data in a timely manner so your business operations can continue.

BDR for Natural Disasters and Extreme weather

Businesses can lose thousands in operations, productivity and efficiencies if they are not prepared for weather related incidences and natural disasters. A good Business Disaster Recovery solution is key to overcoming a natural disaster. Your geographic location may be prone to certain types of environmental events and you have to take the proper precautions for each event. A good BDR solution is the cornerstone to surviving these events. A good cloud backup partner, and IT Managed Services partner will have the backup technologies and data recovery solutions in place to give you the ability to recover your data in the event of  floods, storms, and tornadoes. IT Risk Managers BDR solution also gives you access to temporary virtual servers that can be used until your business servers are restored.

Business Backup for Insider threats and Cyber crime

Unfortunately today’s data and systems can be susceptible to an insider threat. You may have an unhappy or disgruntled employee who may intentionally encrypt, delete, or steal sensitive information. A properly deployed BDR may not stop the behavior but it can help you recover and mitigate the damage in the event of an occurrence. Viruses, malware, and especially ransomware, are all dangerous threat to today’s data and business operations. Hackers, and cyber criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their attacks. It really is not a question of weather you will be attacked its just a question of when you will be attacked. A good Business Continuity and cloud backup solution will help you recover from these inevitable attacks.

Are you Prepared in the event of a Data Loss?

Some questions you may want to ask yourself regarding your ability to recover from a data loss event:

Do you know the risks and financial costs to your business from data loss due to downtime?

Do you back up your data multiple times throughout the day?

Do you have a software and storage solution dedicated to backing up up your business data?

Is your critical business data backed up offsite?

Is your backed up data stores at redundant offsite locations?

Is the data stored off-site always encrypted?

Is  your backup system and files tested and verified by a team of backup specialists?

Have you scheduled annual disaster recovery tests to verify the integrity and operations of your back up solution?

Do you have a backup solution that gives you access to virtual machines and servers that can be turned on and used so your business can recover quickly?

IT Risk Managers Chicago Cloud Backup and Business Continuity

IT Risk Managers is a full service Chicago IT Managed Service provider. We have enterprise cloud backup solutions that we’ve enabled for small and medium businesses. All of our services are continuously monitored by our Network Operating Center (NOC) If you have any additional questions about Chicago Cloud backup solutions, Chicago Business Continuity solutions, and backing up your business’ data please email info@itriskmgrs.com or call Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370.

 

 

16 Oct 2018

CCIE Cisco Support in Chicago

CCIE Engineers in Chicago
Cisco Support from IT Risk Managers LLC 20 Year Cisco Partner

Cisco Support in Chicago

IT Risk Managers LLC has certified Cisco engineers for complex Cisco Networking solutions in Chicago. IT Risk Managers LLC offers affordable access to Cisco CCIE’s for your Cisco engineering needs. IT Risk Managers LLC has been providing Network IT Support to Chicago businesses for 20 years. Over the years we’ve developed a large knowledge base on Cisco Support needs and have very highly skilled Cisco Support engineers to deal with complex Cisco environments. Our Cisco Support teams include CCIE’s, CCNP’s, and CCNAs.

Cisco Nexus Support Chicago

We have also deployed dozens of Nexus switch projects. Cisco Nexus switch lines provide highly redundant highly available data center virtual networking solutions and software defined networking solutions. Our Cisco Support engineers have extensive experience with NX-OS, which is the network operating system for the Nexus Series Ethernet switches. NX-OS is a command line interface similar to Cisco IOS. Our CCIE cisco support techs have experience configuring the high availability features on the Nexus Line. Our Cisco Support engineers are familiar with the various high availability and redundancy protocols, including Spanning Tree, vPC virtual port channels, HSRP, VRDP, and GLBP.

Cisco CCIE’s available for High Availability Configurations

Port Channel allows multiple physical links to be combined into a single link. vPC allows port channels to be terminated on different physical devices. Our Cisco Support team also has experience with Cisco FabricPath a layer two high availability protocol. HSRP can also be used as a load balancing solution. Our Cisco Support team provides pre-project support so we can insure the proper solution and Cisco design is implemented for your networking needs. Our CCIE Cisco support team also recommends the proper Nexus configuration to make sure the Nexus systems components are redundant and have the right network fabric modules for optimum connectivity. Our Nexus solutions include dual supervisor card solutions, redundant switch fabric card, multiple fan trays and power supplies.

Cisco Catalyst Support

Our Cisco Support team also has experience with the Cisco Catalyst series. Including the robust Catalyst 9500 series. The Cisco Catalyst line continues to deliver highly secure super fast network connectivity for the data center. You also need to make the right choices when it comes to your LAN switches also, ask about the Catalyst 3850s and 3650s. We also have experience with the Meracki switch line for small business applications. IT Risk Managers LLC also has a portfolio of Managed IT Services that can help support your IT needs with a NOC.

Cisco SD-WAN Solutions

Our Cisco IT team also continues to support Cisco’s router lines, including ISR branch router solutions and small business routers. Some of our CCIE’s have extensive experience with Cisco’s SD-WAN solutions. We also support Cisco wireless and security solutions including the ASA Firewall line and the Meracki Wireless networking line.

IT Risk Mangers Cisco Network Support

IT Risk Managers continues to support Cisco legacy switches and routers including 6500s and 3700 series. If you need immediate access to high end Cisco Support and IT Networking Support feel free to call Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370 or email info@itriskmgrs.com

28 Aug 2018

IT Companies Best Friend a NOC

IT Companies
IT Companies need a NOC to support your Business IT support needs

Why is a NOC important for your business and an IT Companies’ IT Support solution

A Network Operations Center or NOC is a key piece to any successful IT support platform. A NOC is a place where network performance data, server performance data and IT system characteristics can be collected and analyzed to make sure your company’s systems are highly available and working how they’re supposed to be working. The information collected in the NOC is vital to all IT Companies.

Automated Services at a NOC

At a NOC many things can be done automatically. For instance server patches, server updates and network updates can be pushed out to your systems to keep them updated and less vulnerable to Cyber-security attacks that takes advantage of systems that haven’t been patched or updated. IT Companies rely on information generated by the NOC to support your Network and keep it secure.

White-listing at the NOC

However before those patches and updates can be deployed and pushed out its a good idea to have them white-listed. IT Companies have a process to evaluate patches called white-listing. Which means the patches and updates safe to be rolled out. A tier 3 NOC Engineer does this task. So an important part of a NOC service are the NOC engineers reviewing the systems and reviewing the alerts and performance data so they can keep your systems highly available for your company. IT Companies maintain NOC 3 engineers to support your systems.

How to Afford a NOC

Although a larger company has the resources available to manage, maintain, and support a Network Operations Center most small and medium size business simply can’t support or afford a NOC. Since the NOC is so vital to a successful small and medium business IT Support platform what is the solution?

Well IT Companies who provide a Managed IT Service is the answer. What my IT support company, IT Risk Managers does is provide an affordable NOC service to small and medium businesses. By spreading out the cost to other small and medium size businesses the Managed IT Service company can make the platform affordable to all their clients!

IT Companies Need a NOC!

When you make a decision on an Managed IT service company or on any IT Company make sure they have a NOC in place with Tier 3 NOC engineers. This is the only way you can make sure your Business IT systems are managed properly and will not fail.

Hope this information helps you make the right decision when choosing a Managed IT service company. Go here to see more info on  Managed IT Service providers.

 

If you have further questions or need more info call Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370 or email info@itriskmgrs.com

 

 

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