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Computerware Blog

Computerware has been serving the Vienna area since 1976, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Is Your Organization Ready for a Disaster

Is Your Organization Ready for a Disaster

While not every business needs to worry about hurricanes, the same can’t be said for other kinds of disasters out there. Tornadoes, fires, and other natural disasters could strike at any moment depending on geographical location, but if you’re prepared, you can limit the influence these events have on your organization’s future.

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3 Stats that Show Just How Important Data Backup Is

3 Stats that Show Just How Important Data Backup Is

Whenever we get the chance, we emphasize the importance of having a business continuity plan. The bigger your business, the more important it is to have a comprehensive plan in place--and when your business loses data, it’s losing countless opportunities in the future. Your business’ future is on the line, and if you don’t take steps to protect it now, you could lose everything you’ve worked so hard to attain in the blink of an eye. Here are some of the most surprising statistics regarding data backup and disaster recovery.

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Backup and Disaster Recovery Gives Businesses Another Chance

Backup and Disaster Recovery Gives Businesses Another Chance

Data backup is a hot topic for businesses, particularly because the stakes are never higher for small businesses and enterprises. You either protect your future by implementing a data backup system, or you don’t and put it in jeopardy. What some businesses might not know is that even certain backup strategies are outdated in a modern workplace.

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You Can’t Afford Not to Have a Proper Backup Solution

You Can’t Afford Not to Have a Proper Backup Solution

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. This is what it means to believe in Murphy’s Law, a rather bleak and somewhat nihilistic view of how the world works. Unfortunately, when it comes to your business’ important data, you have to subscribe to this mindset in order to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario. Every business has its differences, but the end result will remain largely the same--a data backup system customized to fit your organization’s specific needs.

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Your Backup Needs to Meet Some Prerequisites

Your Backup Needs to Meet Some Prerequisites

There is always the constant threat of data loss looming over your business. Even though the idea might be terrifying, you need to consider all of the many possible ways that crippling data loss can occur. To combat these issues head-on, you should implement a backup solution that adheres to industry best practices. We’ll help you determine what your business’ requirements are for a quality data backup solution.

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Backup and Recovery is Essential for Today's Business

Backup and Recovery is Essential for Today's Business

How confident are you that your business could survive a worst-case scenario? Organizations should always be ready to go in case they are struck by overwhelming odds, be it a hacking attack or a natural disaster. How would your business respond to a disaster scenario? Do you have a business continuity plan put in place so that you can guarantee your organization survives to see the light of another day?

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Do You Need Data Backup? The Answer: Absolutely

Do You Need Data Backup? The Answer: Absolutely

Data backup is something of a conundrum for many small businesses. The classic mindset is that they don’t think they need data backup because there’s no way they’ll be struck with a data loss disaster. Their office may not be located in a place prone to natural disasters, and the organization is so small that the assume they are off the hook when it comes to hackers. This doesn’t reduce the value that a good data backup system can offer, though.

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Thunder Follows Lightning, And So Does Scorched Technology

Thunder Follows Lightning, And So Does Scorched Technology

With the return of warmer weather to much of the world, thunderstorms and lightning strikes are more common--and more problematic--than before. All it takes is a bit of rotten luck to find yourself on the receiving end of a lightning storm, and often times unprepared businesses will find themselves unable to recover from the damages. How can your organization mitigate the threat of damage caused by thunderstorms and fires associated with them?


Lightning can cause trouble for electrical appliances, in particular, and any machines that you rely on for business practices, including computers and other networking components. The insurance industry estimates that around 6.5 percent of all claims have to do with lightning storms. Power surges and fires can result from them, both of which can damage critical technology systems and your building’s physical infrastructure.

Here are two ways that your organization can defend against lightning storms and the damages brought about by them.

Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS)
UPS devices can help your business keep damage from lightning storms to a minimum. This is because uninterruptable power supplies regulate the power flowing out of outlets and into your technology, which keeps them from getting hit from power surges. In fact, many surge protectors even guarantee up to a certain amount of damage in monetary value if their products don’t work as intended.

Since a UPS can also ensure that your technology has the time to properly shut down following a loss of power, they are invaluable to have in your office. This keeps you from losing progress or losing data outright. Plus, you’ll suffer less damage to your hardware, which is always a plus.

Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR)
In order to keep your business from losing data during a disaster, you need some form of data backup and recovery. The best way to approach backup and recovery is with a BDR solution that can take multiple backups a day, offer a quick restoration time, and provide off-site storage for your data.

The best way to fight back against natural occurrences like electrical storms is to implement a business continuity plan that mitigates damages caused by situations beyond your control. Remember, the best way to defend against unforeseen circumstances is to plan for them. If you plan for the worst, you can be prepared to face it should it rear its ugly head. To learn more about business continuity, reach out to us at (703) 821-8200.

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Common Scenarios Why You Should Be Nervous About Not Backing Up Your Data

Common Scenarios Why You Should Be Nervous About Not Backing Up Your Data

Over one-third of businesses don’t have any means of backing up their data. This is a major problem, especially considering how many threats there are that can derail operations. For managed IT providers like us, this is painful, as it’s unfortunate to hear about data disasters that could easily be prevented. We’ll discuss some of the biggest reasons why your business needs data backup and disaster recovery.


Hard Drives Break Easily
The hard drive is the part inside your computer that holds its data, but it is also susceptible to failing for one particular reason: it breaks easily. Consider the fact that the typical hard drive works by spinning a bunch of platters at very high speeds. It’s practically built with the risk of catastrophic breakage. These platters are outfitted with a thin magnetic coat that stores the data itself. A small arm rests over this platter with nothing but a cushion of air to hold it in place. The spinning itself is what keeps these two from colliding. If the head were to touch the platter, well… it’s safe to say that you’ll be wishing you had data backup.

While modern hard disk drives can somewhat bypass these issues and have failsafes built into them, mechanical devices with countless spinning parts should be expected to fail at some point or another. Constant operation will result in wear and tear, and even the most subtle shakes can take their toll on the reliability of the drive. If your data is only located on one drive, all it takes to ruin your day is a bit of bad luck.

User Error is Inevitable
What happens when one of your employees makes an admittedly understandable error and countless troubles follow suit? Perhaps your company uses spreadsheets to keep track of which services each of your clients receive. This template is what’s used for billing purposes. While this is a crude way of doing business at best compared to more recent innovations, if the original copy is lost or the files are changed unexpectedly, you could have a major problem on your hands. If this were to happen when you have data backup, you just need to restore the file from backup and everything would be right as rain.

Ransomware is Tricky and Unpredictable at Best
While the average PC owner understands that they need a firewall and antivirus protection on their computer, commercial-level solutions will simply not do for a business. There are threats out there that can pierce the defenses of the average security protocol. Some of the most renown recent threats include ransomware--malicious programs that encrypt data on your device and only unlock it when a ransom is paid. Cryptolocker and Cryptowall are some of the most notorious types of ransomware out there, and they’re as dangerous as they are crafty. Worst of all is that they are spread through spam and targeted phishing emails, so even some specialized security solutions may not spot them in time. In the event of a ransomware strike, the most practical way to recover is to just restore your data from a time before the ransomware infected your infrastructure.

Not Checking Your Backup
The scariest part of data backup isn’t the thought of not having it, but what would happen if your data backups failed. Frequently testing that your backups work is perhaps the most important part of using data backup and disaster recovery. Computerware can assist you with the implementation and upkeep of your backup system. To learn more, reach out to us at (703) 821-8200.

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The Top 6 Technology Issues Plaguing Every Business

The Top 6 Technology Issues Plaguing Every Business

Despite what you might hear in the media, data breaches aren't the only IT-related issues that small businesses have to worry about. There are many other problems that you need to plan for, and they don’t all originate from hackers trying to steal your data. Let’s take a look at some of the common problems you might experience with your office technology.


BDR Issues
You don’t want to be stuck in a position where your business has to deal with data loss, and it’s even more frustrating if you haven’t prepared for such an event. However, small businesses may have smaller budgets, which limits how much they can invest into data recovery and backup systems. In many cases, they might just forego the protection offered by data backup and recovery in hopes that a disaster will never rear its ugly head. Doing this jeopardizes the future of your business and is an unnecessary risk, especially when BDR is so readily accessible from Computerware.

Waiting for Issues to Occur
Your business can learn a lot from the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Although, business technology is a different situation entirely that demands a more careful approach. Taking proactive measures to keep issues from evolving into major problems is a viable IT strategy that can keep you from spending huge amounts of capital on replacement hardware, and we can make this simple by providing these services and more for a reasonable monthly fee.

Unknown Root Causes
Even small IT issues can be a symptom of larger underlying problems. In fact, these smaller problems might even be so plentiful that they shield the larger problem from being discovered in time to make a difference. A good indicator of when this happens is when the same small issues pop up and must be fixed repeatedly, as they may be caused by a larger problem. Resolving this should be a top priority, as fixing the same thing over and over again quickly becomes a waste of time.

Security Concerns
While there are countless ways for internal problems to complicate your organization’s security, you can’t dismiss the fact that security threats lurk just outside your business’s network over the Internet. Hackers create threats that wait for unsuspecting business owners and employees to make mistakes, like downloading the wrong file or clicking on the wrong link in a spam message. Small businesses like to assume that they aren’t at risk thanks to how low-profile they are compared to larger enterprises, but the fact remains that hackers often don’t target specific businesses. Instead, they just wait for someone to make a mistake, and then capitalize on that mistake. This is why it’s so important to keep your company protected from all kinds of threats.

Lack of Strategy or Application Compatibility
Chances are that you aren’t the only one in charge of making decisions in your business, so have you considered what happens when your thoughts clash with someone else’s… like your IT department? When this happens, you might run into more roadblocks than you’d prefer, which can lead to slower project implementation. Similarly, you want to ensure that all of your technology is compatible with the rest of your infrastructure, which is something that only a dedicated IT provider would know.

User Difficulties
While you want to get the most use out of your technology, you also need to take into account the user experience. After all, your employees are the ones who will be using the technology, and if it’s counterproductive, they won’t find much value in it. If your employees are using technology that doesn’t improve the way they work, they might suffer from decreased productivity and efficiency.

Even though security is a major issue for businesses, you should still consider all of the other potential problems you could run into while going about your business. Only by taking a proactive stance on resolving technology troubles can your business innovate and push beyond your perceived limitations. Computerware provides technical assistance to small businesses that want to jumpstart operations. To learn more, reach out to us at (703) 821-8200.

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We Weigh in on the On-Site Backup vs. Cloud-Based Backup Debate

We Weigh in on the On-Site Backup vs. Cloud-Based Backup Debate

It’s no secret that data backup is an important part of any IT strategy for small and medium-sized businesses. Backup and disaster recovery makes all the difference in keeping your business afloat in the event of a data loss incident. However, there’s still some debate over what the best approach is. According to a recent survey, it seems that many businesses find that both in-house and cloud-based backup solutions are needed in order to guarantee business continuity.


The survey, conducted by research firm Clutch, claims that 46 percent of respondents feel that on-site backup is just as important as cloud-based backup. 42 percent actually claim that they prefer on-site backups, and only a paltry 11 percent feel that on-site backup is less important than a cloud-based solution. This survey asked 500 employers with the intent of discovering which type of disaster recovery solution they preferred to use.

Of course, it’s also true that you don’t want to store your data backups exclusively on-site. Doing so could prove to be a dangerous gambit, but that doesn’t mean that on-site backup doesn’t have its advantages. It’s helpful if your cloud-based backup is unavailable for some reason, or if it’s corrupted. It’s important to remember that the more locations you have for your data backups, the better, as it helps you ensure that your data is available (and working) and can be restored in the event of a disaster.

We recommend that your business apply this knowledge in the form of a compound backup and disaster recovery solution, which can take multiple backups of your data every day, and transport them to multiple locations for safe, compliant storage. We have a Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution that’s designed to offer you only the most dynamic of data backup solutions, so that you can keep your business running smoothly even in the darkest of times.

With our BDR solution, you can take backups of your data as often as every fifteen minutes. This can dramatically cut down on the data that’s lost in the event of a disaster incident. These backups can be taken automatically to eliminate the potential for user error. The backups are then sent to multiple locations, which can include on-site, the cloud, and a secure, off-site data center.

One of the most valuable assets that you can reap from a BDR solution is the ability to restore your backups directly from the cloud, right to the BDR device. It can then act as a temporary server unit until you have a solid plan to replace the hardware that you previously had. This affords you valuable time that would be lost due to inoperable hardware, and considering how wasteful downtime is, you’ll be glad that your budget won’t have to suffer from it.

To learn more, reach out to us at (703) 821-8200.

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The Fascinating Art of Server Migration

b2ap3_thumbnail_server_migration_data_migration_400.jpgOnce in a while, a server must play its part in the ultimate task - moving all of its data to another server. This includes moving all of the files and applications on one server to another unit in a process called server migration.

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