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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.

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.

 

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.

 

COLOCATION: LOOKING BEYOND COST

It’s hard to decipher the specific cost breakdown of colocation unless you’re already in the contract phase. To determine the best course of action we’ve come up with a few essential colocation service requirements.

For most IT department heads, working within a set budget can be accomplished quickly. The short end of the stick with this process is that you miss out on the bigger goal for your business, like security, hardware, accessibility, connectivity, and support. All of which are essential when considering colocation services. Additional cornerstone items to consider are scalability, expertise, and uptime SLAs. Here’s why:

Security
Access to the data center should be controlled and monitored using security access cards, traps, visual identification checkpoints, and biometric fingerprint scanning. Additionally, the facility should be staffed 24×7 with security to monitor the physical entire facility.

Expertise
In the event of a problem, technical support should be available to you via email or phone at all times; twenty-four hours, seven days a week, all year round.

Uptime SLAs
Downtime is more expensive than ever, both regarding revenue and reputation. Colocation providers offer built-in redundancies across systems and applications ensuring 100% uptime SLAs.

Since we’re all about the transparency, below is our top 10 frequently asked questions… They may help you out!

  1. How long have you been in business selling colocation? 
    • 2001 (16+yrs)
  2. What is your minimum colocation arrangement (per U, ¼ rack, etc)?
    • 1/3 rack
  3. Do you offer managed colocation manage a client owned server?
    • Yes
  4. Do you offer managed services for colocation clients (i.e. tape backup, firewall, load balancing, etc.)?
    • Yes
  5. Do you offer 24×7 client access?
    • Yes
  6. Is your data center(s) SSAE 18 compliant?
    • Yes
  7. What bandwidth providers are available at your data center(s)?
    • L3, GTT CL , XO
  8. What is your bottom colo price point?
    • $125.00
  9. Do you offer roof rights at any of your data centers?
    • Yes
  10. What operating systems do you support?
    • Lynix and Windows

To learn more about colocation or our managed services, click here.

THE DENVER BIZ TECH EXPO IS HERE!

Change is constant. No other industry feels that pressure like those within the technology industry. There is no place for the word stagnant within the world of tech. Making it necessary for hardware, software, cloud, and security solution providers to stay ahead of the curve.

About six years ago, to help local companies grow, the Colorado Technology Partners Board of Directors started something special to do just that, they created the Denver Biz Tech Expo.

Tomorrow, Massive Networks will be attending this event alongside thousands of its national and local peers to help address today’s business challenges and needs unique to private line networkingcloud connect solutions, and managed service options.

The event’s focus will dive into:

  • Firsthand knowledge of how the FBI approaches cybercrime.
  • Cutting edge AI discussions
  • Meet industry experts in cybersecurity, technology, and digital marketing
  • As well as network with more than 1,000 of Denver’s top technology professionals.

Join us and the vibrant speakers and panels of experts at Coors Field for the sixth Denver Biz Tech Expo for FREE with code MN (short for Massive Networks). The ticket also includes free parking (Lot A), food, beverages, swag, prizes, and happy hour.

We’ll be located at booth #33 if you want to stop by and say hello!

Connectivity – Cloud Solutions for the Enterprise Environment

Connectivity.

Defined its meaning refers to the quality, state, or capability of being connected to a computer or series of computers.

That’s fine and dandy when placed in a dictionary reference, but in the IT world, it’s SO much more than that. The complexities involve connecting your computers to the Internet, your Internet to servers, your servers to the cloud, and your cloud provider to all of the applications your business requires to operate. And that’s a very basic representation of the details.

But even in a basic representation, you can see just how deep the rabbit hole can get.

As cloud services progress, enterprises are accessing the benefits of multiple service providers via one connectivity strategy. Cloud connectivity plays a significant part as more companies opt for cloud services to solve their business data needs. Enterprises looking to optimize their applications can combine their cloud service of choice into one solution – a hybrid cloud.

It’s like a common public or private cloud, but so much better!

In short, here’s why:

Hybrid cloud offerings merge data center services, cloud access, and managed services into one simplified, fully optimized solution.

If you can’t beat them, join them.

According to the 2017 State of the Cloud Survey, 67 percent of enterprises are already participating in one, and the number is set to increase in the upcoming years. Enterprises already working with cloud service providers can quickly make the shift to a hybrid ecosystem by engaging in a hybrid cloud strategy.

Here’s how.

Your cloud provider’s performance is only as good as your connectivity solution. So, if we were to place you in the driver’s seat wouldn’t it make life a whole lot easier to combine all of your services into one unified solution?

We certainly think so.

That’s why Massive offers the Cloud Exchange Connect. You can extend your WAN from any location to include the cloud platform of your choice or a registered cloud provider from our marketplace. Our advanced high-performance connections are secure and dedicated to you. Meaning, your business-critical data stays secure because it’s all routed through a private network.

Similar to a typical hybrid cloud, the MASSIVE Cloud Exchange Connect Includes:

  • Private secure connections directly to Cloud Platforms and SaaS providers (Speeds from 10 Mbps to 10Gbps).
  • 10 Gig private network transport with predictive routing to avoid Internet bottlenecks and network slow down.
  • Faster speeds, less latency, much better security
  • Premium-Blended Internet.
  • Global availability and multiple configuration options.
  • And any Managed Services you need to be monitored around the clock.

Making it an optimal choice when your IT Team begins researching their options for a cloud solution. To learn more about our Cloud Connect Services, click here!

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