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Tips for Supporting Your Clients Network

Does supporting your client networks wreak havoc on your day-to-day productivity? If so, then this is the article for you. Managing client networks can be tricky. A picture-perfect set-up would be if each network device you managed came from the same manufacturer. But an experienced MSP knows better.

Did you know that 75% of MSPs manage at least four or more network devices from various manufacturers?

Well, now you do. Some MSPs have even reported up to twenty vendors for one client’s network.  How crazy is that?

To reiterate, managing various networks is a standard process for most MSPs, but just because it’s standard doesn’t mean it’s less complicated.

Managing client networks requires the understanding of managing diverse OS systems, various languages, and a whole LOT more. Even though standardization is preferred, it is not practicable for all scenarios.

Because we’re in the network business, we decided to offer a few tips for supporting your clients’ network. Hopefully, you find them helpful!

Tips for Supporting Your Clients Network

Out-Of-Band Management

Establishing a connection to a device via a substitute connection similar to a serial interface without utilizing the production network is out-of-band management. It can be used to access network devices when your product network is inaccessible. Switches, routers, firewalls, and other network elements can usually be configured via serial connections to the device. It offers command line control on the device in the absence of network interfaces.

IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interfaces)

When the primary metal server is not accessible, and the server’s OS gets corrupted and stops booting, remote connection to the machine cannot be established through SSH or RDP, which means inability to restore the backup or reinstalled OS remotely. The server can be managed out-of-band through IPMI. It serves as an IP switch and remotely creates a mouse, keyboard and video access to the server over the network. IPMI allows rebooting the server or repairing or reinstalling OS in situations where OS is corrupted and serve is inaccessible.

Console Servers

Console servers offer several serial ports, which can be linked to the serial console ports of different network elements. When the internet connection is down, they allow administering network devices over its 3G or LTE networks remotely. Even though the client would not have internet access until the repair has been done at the ISP end, you will be capable of making local infrastructure accessible. Because IPMI makes use of network interface controllers (NICs) for access, IPMI devices would also be inaccessible when the network is not available. The good news is that console servers are equipped with several NICs that allows server IPMIs to link directly to the console server. This further allows remote access to IPMI equipped server through the console server even when there is no internet connectivity.

Need help with managing your client’s networks? No problem.

Partnering with the best in business vendors, MSPs, and VARs, we offer an array of managed network services through our partner program. Whether you want to use us directly or share the customer service side of things, we are flexible. Check out our partner program to learn more!

Network vs. Security: Collaborating In An Evolving Market

Network vs. security. It’s an old debate. What’s more important?

Once upon a time, a business’ network system and application security system were considered separate isolated management items. With the way technology has evolved many IT departments have merged the two. That way they sit under one umbrella.

Past Grievances Between Network and Security Teams

In the past, the two management systems contradicted one another. While network teams generally demand speed and efficiency, security teams work on the opposite end of the spectrum. They prefer to slow things downs and apply additional security barriers to assure complete protection. Nevertheless, their opposing objectives have been the cause of the lack of communication between both parties.

Security teams are generally more focused on the mitigation of potential security risks and network vulnerabilities. Whereas network teams continually strive to enhance network accessibility and usability. This creates bottlenecks for network engineers because security measures are more likely to affect the speed of the processes due to firewalls, as well as the implementation of two-factor authentication and other precautionary measures.

Forward Thinking

Today, IT experts agree that collaboration between the two IT counterparts is key to supporting an organization’s needs. With the rise of security hack attempts, network and security teams are now required to sync up and shift their approach to combating system failures or system breaches.

A Collaborative Solution

It all boils down to communication to maintain a collaborative solution. Whether your business has merged to the two counterparts or not, the goal of both departments is to ensure that a company is operating at full speed and at all times.

This means taking a proactive measure to communicate about the latest trends and concerns.

It also means that when a new project begins, like adding a new application; both teams should be present in the process to ensure effective deliverability. That way the security team can provide feedback about the impending security issues and the network team can evaluate responsively.

To learn more about merging your network and security management teams, check out our managed networks services.

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.

 

Do Digital Better – Start With Your Network

Is your network secure, up to date, and operating at the speed of your business? For most IT teams or technology managers, this scenario is unrealistic.

Managing a network involves a ton of manual activities.

From installing probes, building VPN tunnels, logging into CLIs for each device, and parsing what is returned – all to ensure your company isn’t exposed to downtime or the latest security threat. On top of that hiring, training, and retaining adequate in-house talent to keep your operation stable and technology current is difficult. The cold hard truth is, you’re doing anything and everything to keep your head above water. Read more