Massive Networks Meets CVTV

Recently Paul Mako, CTO of Massive Networks met with the crew members of Channel Vision Magazine (CVTV).

This short video will walk you through how Massive Networks:

  • Deploys its services
  • Custom designs networks
  • Designed a multi-location network for a Colorado-based medical tech company

Learn how our Premium-Blended Internet and layer 2 Private Line Transport connections from office-to-officedata centers, and cloud applications can transform network connectivity from bandwidth-intensive services.

Are You Protected? 8 Steps to Combat Cyber Threats

If it’s connected, it’s an access point that can be infiltrated.

And any digital device that is connected to your network, is at risk. Last week, CTO Paul Mako, addressed how cybersecurity threats can be detected from the network at the Denver Biz Tech Expo. Today, your business can reduce downtime from these threats by implementing protocols at all access points that are connected to your network. It’s not just computers or it’s users that may impact business security. It’s any digital device that is connected to the network. Building systems or AI devices are just the tips of the ice burg.

Remaining educated on the latest cyber threats is the first step in improving your security processes and combating these malicious attacks. By keeping all of your system hardware and software up-to-date, actively monitoring your network usage, and utilizing the internet security measures that anti-malware and anti-virus solutions provide, you can ensure that your business is ready to battle whatever cybersecurity threat that may be lurking.

Common Cyber Threats

Phishing attacks, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, and APT (Advanced Persistent Threats) attacks are some of the more common cyber attacks that are being used against businesses today. Training administrators and users to be cautious when reading and opening all emails, and utilizing web application firewalls are great tools to use against these attacks as they give you more control over your web traffic while recognizing malicious exploits.

 Lock It Up

Because we’re a team of network people, it’s important to note that we feel the best defense model against any kind of threat begins at the network. Despite that, there are precautions you can implement to lock down your business in the event of a hack or threat. This includes locking down your processes, securing your transactions, then securing all of the access points. Last, but definitely NOT least, train your staff.

Recently, the FBI released an article on Defending Against Payroll Phishing Scams. Below, we’ve listed out some of their strategies businesses can use to avoid them.

Defending Against Cybersecurity Scams and/or Threats Checklist:

  1. Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, visits, or email messages from individuals asking about employees or other internal information. If unknown individual claims to be from a legitimate organization, try to verify his or her identity directly with the company.
  2. Do not provide personal information or information about your organization, including its structure or networks, unless you are certain of a person’s authority to have the information.
  3. Do not reveal personal or financial information in an email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. This includes following links sent an email.
  4. Don’t send sensitive information over the Internet before checking a website’s security.
  5. Pay attention to the URL of a website. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com vs. .net).
  6. If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the company directly. Do not use the contact information provided on a website connected to the request; instead, check previous statements for contact information.
  7. Install and maintain anti-virus software, firewalls, and email filters to reduce some of this traffic.
  8. Take advantage of any anti-phishing features offered by your email client and web browser.

 

What Is Direct Connect, Exactly?

Like most businesses, your employees, aka users, rely on the Internet to connect to your business applications to perform their daily tasks. If they’re doing this via a public Internet connection, there are risks involved. These types of scenarios relate to vulnerabilities like hacking, viruses, and/or possibly leaking private customer data.

Situations like these are the very reason why it is so important to bypass a public Internet connection and go with a business-grade private line connection to ensure your data is secure and that the connections are reliable; especially as the data traverses between business applications and services from the cloud back to the office.

Direct Connect Enters Here

Direct Connect is a network service that allows a customer, aka a business, to establish a dedicated network connection between a location, or office, and your business data center or colocation environment.

The Massive Difference

Massive Networks offers a Direct Connect Service that features a select number of Cloud and Network Service Providers who supply connectivity services to Buyers and Partners as an alternative to connecting over the public Internet.

Through the Massive Networks Direct Connect Service, Service Providers are able to achieve this objective by leveraging a choice of private interconnections instead.

How Can Service Providers Participate?

Service Providers who are looking to Connect to our Cloud Marketplace and participate in our private interconnection from interested Massive Networks customers can provision the enterprise-grade secure service through of our flexible interconnection options.

Who Needs This Service?

Though everyone would be a great answer, not all businesses are ready to make the switch. The types of customers who would benefit from this type of secure service are businesses that are looking for a more secure option in order to follow compliance regulations. A business can connect to any of our cloud provider partners to achieve a private network connection, ensuring a safer and more consistent network experience than public Internet-based connections.

To learn more about our direct connect services, click here.

MPLS VS Carrier Ethernet

MPLS vs Carrier Ethernet – what’s the better option?

This quick fact video provides a side-by-side comparison of MPLS and Carrier Ethernet network infrastructure.

Paul Mako, CTO of Massive Networks explains general network architecture, frequently asked questions about standard setups like MPL,  and how they measure up against a Carrier Ethernet Network. Additionally, Mako addresses how Carrier Ethernet networks are the optimal solution for companies who are struggling with network connectivity between offices, their cloud applications, security, and compliance regulations.

Click the play icon on the video below to watch!

 

The Ins and Outs of Colocation

Are you interested in Colocation Services? If so, then this quick fact video is for you.

This is a short tutorial that provides general colocation architecture and administration information about types of colocation, the cost, important security measures, SLAs, and the basic set-up requirements. Additionally,  the video will discuss how colocation can be privately connected to your LAN and to the cloud.

Click play to watch!

 

Connectivity: The Backbone of a Business

Connectivity is the backbone of a business.

If you’re using the public Internet to access your business data, you’re placing your company at risk.

Connect directly to all of the major sites using our private backbone that bypasses the public Internet entirely, adding another layer of security so your critical information is safe.

Watch the Massive Networks highlight reel for a quick overview of our services and solution.

Colocation: Why SLA Agreements Are Smart For Business

Colocation and service level agreements. What are they and why do you need them? In this article, we’ll review what colocation is, how its services are useful to businesses, and then why service level agreements are so important.

Read more

Small vs. Big Cloud Providers: 4 Components to Making Strides in the Market

Cloud computing and infrastructure is a rapidly developing sector in the tech industry. The production side of this market has a variety of businesses providing this service to both local and international clients and companies.

The obvious key players include Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, and Google, all who have a significant share of the market. However, despite the massive hitters, there are others like the smaller niche providers, that can be taken into consideration as well.

Small cloud providers are an anomaly. Their purpose is aimed at providing services to smaller businesses that range up to mid-market sized companies that do not need to go mainstream. Aside from their market segment, a majority of them have also carved out niche specific industries like real estate, healthcare, or manufacturing. This go-to-market strategy gives them the shoe in they need so that they can penetrate their markets strategically. However, due to bidding wars between industry giants, the most common set back for smaller firms, like many businesses, is brand awareness and gaining customers. The bidding war between the larger firms is a classic example of Economics. But, the niche specific markets have proven to help smaller firms effectively gain traction within the cloud space market.

To give you an idea, here’s how smaller cloud providers score BIG points within their fields:

  • Customer Handling or Relationship Building
  • Specialization
  • Customization and Tailored Services
  • Innovation

Overall, these four key components are what make the ultimate difference.

Businesses are no longer paying for a utility like service – they’re investing in a solution. Similar to dating, but instead of thumbing through tender, you’ve committed yourself to one person versus dating someone new every week; the solution-based model removes the “transaction” like experience and helps pave the way for a long-term relationship. We break it down even further for you below.

Breaking it down further

Customer relations: Large firms do not have the time to give individual attention to each customer. They can’t cater to every customer’s unique need or spend hours reviewing their service with them. Their methods are more formal and professional. The customers have to go through a chain of people instead of directly dealing with the person in charge. In other words, you pay me for this service; I provide you the service – end of discussion. Smaller firms, on the other hand, focus more on relationship building so they can retain their clients. Their dealings are more intimate because the people in charge are usually the ones handling the client’s requests. Also, smaller firms have fewer clients giving them the ability to spend more time with each customer.

Specialization: Small firms are more focused and are providing one service; unlike larger firms who are producing numerous services and products. Not only does specialization give smaller firms an advantage, allowing them to develop the most effective strategies and streamlining production, it also helps them achieve economies of scale.

Customization: Larger firms usually have a generic service with fixed rates that are functional for all their clients. Smaller firms, on the other hand, need to do more to survive in the market, which allows them the upper hand. Smaller firms can “tailor make” their cloud services based on the customer’s needs, budget, requirements, and the industry they are operating in.

Innovation: If you offer the same thing that everyone else is offering then why would customer select you? Innovative products and services are the name of the game and help establish a small firms mark. Giving them a leg up on offering unique services.

All of these points are where small cloud providers and cloud computing startups can create the highest value. Working on these areas is key to thriving within the market. Firms that are already focusing on improving these areas are seen as taking more considerable strides in the cloud computing market.

Are you already a cloud provider? Expand your network by joining our cloud marketplace.

Cloud Application Management: 7 Useful Tools

Cloud system management is likely to become more challenging for cloud businesses in the upcoming months and years. Despite the various issues associated with cloud management, businesses – big or small, are adopting cloud-based systems at an enormous rate. Cloud applications have made life easier and given the real-time phenomenon that fosters enhanced collaboration and the work-from-anywhere model. Though end-user accessibility may be simple, monitoring cloud applications from an IT perspective is still complex. Below, we explain those complexities and what makes each of them a daunting task.  

Silo Management Anyone? 

Given the divided control onto the cloud services, it has become quite challenging for IT staff in any business to manage the cloud in its entirety. In addition to the cloud management systems that are set to deploy in silos, the various management tools in the market make it even more appalling to handle. Cloud management tools from renowned vendors such as IBM, Microsoft, and HP are flooding the market, but are usually specific to particular hardware. Similar to a mousetrap, you can’t buy one without adapting to the other. However, workload in case of the cloud applications is not tied to a specific device, which makes deployment of such management tools a complicated and tedious process.   

The complexity of Public Cloud  

Moreover, public cloud vendors have provided a range of their management tools and options, to manage the services extended through their cloud. The limitation here is that these tools are usually specific to a platform, making cloud application system management more complicated. Tools specific to cloud management are also on the rise, making overall management manifold and expensive at the same time.  The notion of cloud managed services being a cheap alternative has remained a myth to date, especially when it comes to cloud application management.   

Keeping Up With Change 

Cloud application management can be worked out if businesses learn to embrace this increasing commotion in the industry. If a company deals with multiple cloud applications, the first step to accepting the change will be identifying each application and its respective management requirements and tools. Once your MSP or IT department investigates their requirements, your staff has to make sure that the business opts for these variable tools. It is crucial for companies to keep up with emerging management tools in the market and work with these to take control of cloud management.  

Despite these three difficult hurdles, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Based on current cloud monitoring tools, we’ve compiled a list of useful management products that can come in handy. Some are full-stack enterprise solutions whereas others are specialized tools for companies of all sizes.  

To help isolate your needs, we tagged them for easy identification by the following keywords: 

  1. Enterprise 
  1. SMB (Small/Medium Size Business) 
  1. APM (Application Performance Monitoring) 
  1. SaaS (Monitoring tools like Office365 and Salesforce) 
  1. Infrastructure (Cloud, Virtual, and Physical) 
  1. Network 
  1. Platform 
  1. Microservices 
  1. Security 
  1. Microsoft (Specialized) 
  1. Google (Specialized) 
  1. Amazon (Specialized) 

Cloud Monitoring Tools 

  • Microsoft Cloud Monitoring  Using Azure to run your web apps? Microsoft may be the right solution for you. Microsoft provides an in-depth snapshot of your web application performance by providing log analysis, application monitoring, and security alerts. 

TAGS: Enterprise, SMB, APM, SaaS, Infrastructure, Network, Platform, Microservices, Security, and Microsoft. 

  • CA Technologies  – CA Tech offers an enterprise-level, full-stack monitoring, and management solution for businesses with public, private, or hybrid clouds. Making it an easy one-stop-shop for administrators. Their tools can help you do everything from monitor user experiences on your web app, to securing and scaling your operations. 

TAGS: Enterprise, APM, SaaS, Infrastructure, Network, Platform, Microservices, and Security. 

  1. VMware Hyperic – This management system monitors your infrastructure; both the physical and virtual forms, as well as provides monitoring for your OS, middleware, and web apps. The dashboard and reporting features maintain SLA-compliance levels and send alerts when they are close to being breached. Additionally, Dell, one of the leading server virtualization companies in VMware, owns it. 

TAGS: Enterprise, APM, Infrastructure, Platform, Microservices, and Security. 

  • AppNeta  – Earned the spotlight as the highest rated Network Performance Monitoring tool by Gartner, in 2017.  This savvy resource not only works across all cloud platforms, it also gives you insight into resource usage, app delivery, and user experience.  

TAGS: Enterprise, SMB, APM, SaaS, Infrastructure, and Network. 

  • Amazon CloudWatch – If you’re on AWS then Amazon CloudWatch is your best option. Their management system gives you the ability to monitor application metrics, log files, and quickly react to changes in your AWS resources. 

TAGS: Enterprise, SMB, Platform, Security, and Amazon 

  • Redgate  – If your teams use SQL Server, .NET, or Azure then this may be the right monitoring tool for you. Redgate’s specialty focuses on developing better apps. From SQL Monitor to .NET Profilers, to their Azure migration services, they are a one-stop shop for Microsoft stacks. 

TAGS: Enterprise, SMB, Platform, and Microsoft. 

  • Stackdriver  – Native to Google Cloud products, Stackdriver provides monitoring, logging, and logistics for apps on both Google Cloud and AWS. Its full-stack provisioning insights allow you aggregate all data across cloud platforms. 

TAGS: Enterprise, SMB, APM, SaaS, Platform, Security, Google, and Amazon. 

 

If companies are looking to enhance their cloud application management capabilities, it is mandatory that they embrace any and all changes being introduced in the market and develop disciplined management tools for their multiple cloud applications.  Given the 7 choices to select from above, we hope you’ve found this article useful.

For additional help with managing your systems check out our Managed Network Service options. 

Managed Services: The Significance of Monitoring Systems

Proactive and reliable system monitoring has become increasingly crucial as part of network managing services. With the advent of high capacity and enhanced performance systems, managing the complexity of IT technologies has become even more challenging. To gain a competitive edge in the market and to keep one-step ahead of competitors, robust system monitoring has become the need of many businesses. Below are the top four reasons why monitoring your business applications and systems is important for a company.

1. Boost Your Productivity and Performance

System monitoring can help with the measurement of current performance as well as the identification of areas that are in dire need of improvement. So, you can help boost the overall performance of the system by identifying and touching-up these areas. Rather than stepping up and solving issues as soon as they occur, a pre-planning phase can help the system become less vulnerable to disruptions and threats.

2. Upgrades Can Be Pre-Planned

Monitoring is yet another way of keeping a close eye on the necessary or relevant updates required. This pre-planning phase can save you time and effort later when an upgrade becomes due. The proper inventory may be kept in place for such technological upgrades, saving you from any sort of last-minute and/or unexpected changes.

3. Reduce Downtime

Downtimes are severe for a seamless and uninterrupted user experience, which makes it all the more essential to monitor the IT infrastructure intermittently. To avoid disruptions and downtime, a proactive approach to system monitoring is fundamental. Learning from past experiences and detecting problems before they occur can help you make informed decisions and achieve peak performance.

4. Detect Problems In Advance

With system monitoring in place, failure patterns may be detected and comprehended in advance. This priority detection will result in resolving the problem without impacting the end users and their performance. Any and all warning signs and cues may be picked up while monitoring to ensure they are fixed in time as well as a seamless end-user experience.

As they say, caution is better than a cure. Now that you are aware of the whys, it’s time to consider adopting a proper system monitoring protocol.

By adopting a consistent system monitoring exercise, businesses can ensure a robust IT infrastructure that functions perfectly well, without distorting the end user experience. In addition to this, problems and issues may be identified prior to unnecessary and tedious downtimes, saving both cost and effort. Detection of problems helps with creating contingency plans that may be used as a back-up, to avoid system halts.

For additional help with managing your systems check out our Managed Network Service options.