Solar VPS Blog

Do You Monitor Your Website's Uptime Statistics?

SolarRay Website Uptime Monitoring

SolarRay Website Uptime Monitoring

Let’s say for the sake of this conversation, you own a small to medium sized business located in the small sleepy town of Sleepy Hollow, NY. Mr. Crain and his headless adventures aside, you’re small to medium sized business is a growing legal, medical or ecommerce firm. To connect with your clients, you have a website hosted by a Cloud provider (Solar VPS is a great choice). While you love your site, let’s be honest here, it isn’t something you want to have to think about or worry about on a daily basis because you have more important things to do – getting people out of jail, prescribing medicine and selling the latest and greatest piece of women’s jewelry. As such, when your website goes down at 3:35 am on a random Tuesday, you don’t want to be bothered to fix it. For this, there are website downtime checkers and website downtime monitors. Let’s dive into some of the basic stats behind website downtime monitoring software to see if there is such a thing as 100% uptime guarantee.

Your Website Downtime This Month Was…?

100% Website Uptime?

100% Website Uptime?

Right off the bat we have to tell you, any Cloud Hosting or Web Hosting company which guarantees you a 100% website uptime SLA is selling you a bill of goods. The truth of the matter is, in the web hosting and Cloud computing industry, 100% website uptime is on the same level as the headless horseman: grim fairytales. This simple fact can be proven by taking a quick look at some of the basic requirements of web hosting providers. On a monthly basis, your provider will need to:

  1. Run scheduled maintenance on your website
  2. Routinely backup data on your website
  3. Fix errors, install patches, correct mistakes in your website hosting infrastructure (Cloud computing architecture)

All of these alone will cause your provider to temporarily suspend service to your website. Combined, these issues will rack up a serious yet small amount of website downtime on a monthly basis. According to 2011 estimates, on a monthly basis, due to the aforementioned issues, the average individual website experiences 7.2 minutes of downtime per month – mostly in the middle of the night. Another factor which can be incorporated in this small yet costly figure is your website running at peak memory, disk space, CPU and bandwidth rates – any of which can either slow your site or fully shut it down.

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Cloud? What is it?

Cloud. Cloud Computing. Computing in the Cloud. Within the IT industry, Cloud is the hottest term circling the block right now. Everywhere you look, smart IT companies all over the world are touting Cloud Computing as the future of the IT industry. But here is the thing, for all the hotness of the term, what does Cloud even mean?

The term is somewhat amorphous. It has multiple meanings to different people. For one person, the Cloud might mean the process of virtualizing all of the services needed to run an office. For someone else, the Cloud means syncing their iPad with their Macbook Pro and iPod via iCloud. For someone else, the Cloud might mean saving and sharing their files via Dropbox. For a fourth person, the Cloud means a private infrastructure held securely within an IT Integrators datacenter full with dedicated firewalls and add-on’s such as dotDefender. The truth of the matter is the Cloud is all these things and more.

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FortressITX CEO Jason Silverglate "Leverage Cloud Technology to Power Your Office"

On June 14, 2012, the last day of Cloud Expo NYC, FortressITX CEO Jason Silverglate gave a technical presentation titled “Leverage Cloud Technology to Power Your Office” amid hungry lunch eaters. Through ham sandwiches, turkey wraps and Cobb Salad’s, Silverglate presentation educated attendees on the benefits of why businesses of every size have an obligation to join the Cloud. In the presentation Jason clearly highlights the increased productivity matched with reduction in overhead costs Cloud Integration brings to a company of any size. By way of full virtualization Jason passionately makes the case that if as a small business you are not considering moving into the Cloud through services such as Hosted Exchange, as a business owner you are throwing money and efficiency in the garbage.

To read the transcript from the video, click read more.

***INTRO***

****OPENING SLIDE****

Leverage Cloud Technology to Power Your Office

Jason Silverglate: Good afternoon folks. My name is Jason Silverglate. I am the CEO of FortressITX and I am here to discuss with you Leveraging Cloud Technology to Power Your Office.

****SLIDE CHANGE****

We’ve All Felt This Way. The Cure? Office in the Cloud!”

JS: The cure? The cure to that problem? Office in the Cloud. What is Office in the Cloud and what composes Office in the Cloud? A few different technology solutions…VDI or Desktop as a Service (DaaS), which is basically taking your desktops, whether they are obsolete, current – reprovision the amounts as thin terminals for Office in the Cloud. Hosted Exchange, that’s pretty self-explanatory meaning you take your Exchange server and put it in the Cloud. Hosted PBX, getting rid of your legacy phone systems. They are inefficient and not very feature packed…putting it into a feature packed Hosted PBX type of environment. And all this pretty much equals up to Office as a Service (OaaS).

****SLIDE CHANGE****

VDI/DaaS

JS: One small part of Cloud which hasn’t got a lot of attention in recent years is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Desktop as a Service (DaaS). Now what does DaaS mean? This means that you will receive a VM or total server type of environment hosted in a central Data Center that looks and feels just like an actual desktop. It enables you to work essentially from anywhere. Be it your home, on vacation, on your iPad, your cellphone, your laptop on the road, it enables you to be fully mobile and have all your resources fully available at your fingertips.

VDI also enables you to have much greater security controls in your environment as opposed to just having some desktops with some “policies” in place to limit application installation, firewall management, virus scanning…all this is moved into the Cloud giving your infrastructure more security and making your users more productive.

Every three years we run into the problem of well, Dell, Microsoft etc. want us to buy new gear. So we have to spend $500,000 because the lease is up or because Windows 10 comes out and we upgrade to the latest and greatest just to support it. By leveraging your existing infrastructure and reprovisioning it for thin terminals, you never have to buy new hardware ever again. You can take your desktop that’s ten years old and make that a VDI thin terminal.

It’s also environmentally conscious because you’re not throwing away your old desktops, you’re not throwing away your old infrastructure. You’re keeping it, you’re using it and your utilizing it lowering your carbon footprint by not buying new gear all the time.

Application Control is basically, if you guys are sitting in your office, your employees are messing around on Youtube or installing random applications, you may be getting infected with spyware, malware…VDI essentially allows you to control, at a very finite level your office mates and what your employees are able to do.

****SLIDE CHANGE****

Hosted Exchange

JS: What is Hosted Exchange? Hosted Exchange is taking that clunky server you paid $10,000 for two years ago, 3 years ago, eve six months ago, and reprovisioning it for something in office and moving the exchange functions off to the Cloud. Now you might say ‘why would I do this? I just bought this server.’ A hosted environment gives you full email continuity. So if your server goes down at the office, if your email goes down at the office, you’re not losing any sort of performance, you’re not losing any email – you’re always up, you’re always receiving your data.

Another bit that Hosted Exchange has that internal exchange might not have is full synchronized across all of your devices. Your laptop, your cellphones, your iPad’s, your touch pad, your desktop at home, your desktop in the office, they are all kept up to date in sync with your contacts, calendar, tasks etc.

One of the biggest features which most desktop and inter office exchange systems don’t offer is advanced anti-spam/anti-virus. Your email is getting consistently flooded with junk mail and consistently bombarded with viruses. Most in-house systems don’t have advanced anti-spam/anti-virus capabilities that a hosted platform would offer you.

Now we have all been in the situation where you deleted your mailbox or you had it corrupted or the server crashed. What do you do to restore for backups? Well you got to go your “IT guy” and ask him to find that tape from the backup from last week that he shipped and sent off to x,y,z, company in whatever city. The fact of the matter is tape backups fail more than 50 % of the time. So the likely hood of you getting your data back or full intact is slim to none.

Message Archiving & Compliance. If you are a law firm or country firm or your clients are a law firm or county firm or you are in some sort of litigious type of environment or you simply want to protect yourself from being audited or whatnot, Message Archiving & Compliance allows you to keep your email out of the exchange system but fully searchable, fully indexable and online for you for up to 7 – 10 years or for as long as you want to keep it.

Also this once again significantly reduce or eliminates your CAPEX investment. Because every other year Microsoft comes out with a new exchange product and you have to buy a new server, you got to buy a new software license – you have to spend more and more money to maintain your infrastructure at the features you need. Through Hosted Exchange, we upgrade it, we keep upgrading it and you keep paying the same flat low fee.

And in some larger environments you have an internal active directory server. You already have your entry passwords established. With a lot of Hosted Exchange providers now-a-days, certainly with 2010 programs and above, they have features called AD Synchronization allowing you to maintain single sign on for your exchange that’s hosted and your internal active directory system. Hosted Exchange allows them to be synchronizing with each other allowing no password changes, no username changes – everything stays the same and consistent for your user base.

****SLIDE CHANGE****

Hosted PBX

Hosted PBX. Now-a-days a lot of offices are moving some sort of in house PBX system that still works off the internet but still a lot of people are still based in a Nortel phone system that are very very feature limited compared to a full Hosted PBX infrastructure. Now a lot of you might be traveling, I mean everyone is here right now, so how would it be to have your office phone work in tandem with your cellphone? Essentially your cellphone can become your office phone in a Hosted PBX infrastructure. The full caller ID, the full calling from your office number, your entire contact list, entire internal extensions – it basically gives you full mobility features allowing you to be more productive.

A lot of Hosted PBX structures also offer you a unlimited local and long distance calling so you have predictable monthly spend. You get a T1 from Verizon, you get x amount of minutes calling here, x amount of minutes calling there, x amount of minutes calling to California, calling to Canada, calling to anywhere etc. and they nickle and dime you all day long. And you never know what your bill is going to be. If your phone system crashes, guess what? Your calling your service, they come in, charge you $150 an hour to fix your problem and then they say ‘oh, its Verizon’s problem, sorry.’ and you’re out $300 – $400. With a Hosted PBX environment its a predictable spend. You know exactly every month you’re paying $100 a month from now until the end of time.

Built-in disaster recovery/continuity. So we have hurricanes or we have inclimate weather, sometimes the weather in NY gets really wintery and you don’t want to get in the office or you can’t get into the office because the office is closed, built-in disaster recovery/continuity allows you to utilize the mobility features of your Hosted PBX platform to work from home and still have the same features of your desktop and work environment. Also, if you are an executive there is a feature called shared called appearances which allows you to actually have a physical phone at home, a physical phone in the office and they mirror each other. One person calls a number and it rings both phones simultaneously.

Another thing a lot of PBX providers officers is 24/7 support. In this world where you are dealing with customers from California to Europe you need to be operational and get your problems fixed and resolved on a 24/7 basis. So these are some of the advantages of a Hosted PBX platform that you really don’t get in a traditional environment where you have to send out people to fix your problems and your legacy systems.

****SLIDE CHANGE****

Office as a Service (OaaS)

So all these together pretty much equal Office as a Service. You’re eliminating all your software licensing headaches, getting rid of your three years refresh of Office 2010 and Microsoft Exchange and Windows Desktops. You’re greatly increasing your network security by eliminating or greatly reducing your chances of getting spyware, malware and other sort of infections by controlling what your user base can do on the VDI limitations. You’re giving your people full mobility allowing them to work anywhere in the country where there is internet access. You’re eliminating the IT waste, it’s good for the environment and you’re greatly reducing your CAPEX. Ever couple of years (OaaS) saves $10,000, $20,000, $50,000 on hardware refresh. That just goes away entirely. And once again, you can access your data, your environment from anywhere in the country or world.

****SLIDE CHANGE****

Who is FortressITX?

So you’re now saying, well ‘who are you? What makes you an expert?’ Well, FortressITX, we are an NY based Cloud Managed Services Provider (MSP). We have over 15-years in business. Now what makes us unique from other MSP’s we own and operate our own Data Center in the NY Metro area. This gives us a leg up on a lot of other people in the industry who outsource a lot of the operations that they in turn try to sell to you.

Basically, because we are an all in one solution, we eliminate any 3rd party consultants you might need, thus eliminating the he said, she said problem. Your IT guy says its this person’s problem, their IT guy says its Verizon’s problem, another guy says the security guy did it by having a problem in your firewall and you need to enable these ports for your VOIP internal server to get it on the internet…you eliminate the he said, she said problem that has plagued most of your lives in industry.

We offer full stack control, so we can control the stack from your desktop to the internet connection back to our Data Center providing you with internet access giving you full QOS on any VDI or VOIP application.

We provide true one call solutions. You call us and you will speak to a human being here in NY Metro who will fix and solve your problem without having to transfer you off to x,y,z, person or dispatch x,y,z, tech from another company to help you fix your problem.

****SLIDE CHANGE****

FortressITX

JS: Once again ladies and gentlemen thank you for your time. I am Jason Silverglate from FortressITX and we are a NY Metro based MSP Cloud Integrator. Thank you for your attention.

****END VIDEO****

Humanizing IT with FortressITX Director of Managed Services, Louis Ardolino

On June 14, 2012 Louis Ardolino took the time to sit down during the closing moments of @CloudExpo to talk about the infrastructure of FortressITX and why it’s so important to the future of the Cloud Computing industry. For those of you who don’t know, Mr. Ardolino is the Director of Managed Services for FortressITX.

What makes Louis great is his constant dedication to customer service matched with his unique understanding of the IT world. From virtualization, to full IT closet offload, private cloud solutions, to the FortressITX Hosted PBX and Exchange services, Louis has a great way of breaking down complex issues so anyone can understand them. Essentially, he is our go to guy for humanizing all things IT and for us here over at Solar VPS humanizing our services is something we take a great amount of pride in.

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Cloud Expo Photo Time Capsule

For all of you who have been following @Solar VPS all week long for the latest updates @CloudExpo & @BigDataExpo we are sorry to say the expo has come to a close. The Cloud is still out there gaining increased virtualization from all across the globe however bright blue skies have returned to the Javits Center. In the coming days look to this blog for a full break down of the expo, what took place there and the FortressITX role @CloudExpo. Additionally, we will be posting a tremendous amount of video from the expo.

However before we can lay that on you, we first have to explain something. All week long @CloudExpo people who stopped by our booth asked what FortressITX represented. When we told people FortressITX is a full service IT management specializing in Hosted PBX, Hosted Exchange, full virtualization, OaaS with a privately owned D.C. (data center) and 24/7/365 IT staff on hand, people were very impressed. Admittedly, this is a #GameChanger.  After learning the basics, we were asked, “Ok, but someone told me Solar VPS and DedicatedNOW have something to do with you guys…is that true?” In one word, yes.

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Sys-Con Media Interview w/ FortressITX CEO Jason Silverglate

Hey guys. Just a quick update here from the remaining hours of @CloudExpo NYC. Today our CEO Jason Silverglate has two prime time speaking spots at the convention. The first came in the form of a live/tapped interview with the President & Conference Chair of Sys-Con Media Jeremy Geelan (@jg21). Jeremy and Jason had an excellent conversation about FortressITX and our role in the Cloud Computing world. From Jason explaining what it is we do, “cloud integration services,” to him informing the viewing public of how many nations around the world (110 or so) use our one stop all encompassing IT boutique for all of their IT integration, Hosted PBX, Hosted Exchange and Cloud needs (OaaS…more to come on this later on), the interview went damn well. Mr. Geelan and Jason got along well and proved to be a very informative pair. Additionally, as you can tell from the photo here, Mr. Geelan is quite a charming fellow. Although we haven’t gotten to it yet, we can assure you the full video of the interview will be available quite soon. Speaking of new video, the second speaking role Jason has for the day is in about 30 minutes at the back of @CloudExpo. He will be giving a presentation titled “Leverage Cloud Technology To Power Your Office.” The presentation is aimed at business owners of every size looking to outsource their IT needs and cut down on overhead costs. As such, if you like having more money in your pocket and more time to attend to your business matters at hand, stop by the presentation area at the back of the @CloudExpo show floor. And yeah, that video will be up soon too.