Category Archives: Manage Service

5 Reasons Your Company Can Benefit from Managed IT and Network Monitoring Services (Part 1)

Saas company business man with a laptop. Managed IT and network monitoring services concept

Managed IT and Network Monitoring Services

In the business world, everything runs on the network. Information of every stripe is constantly being processed and transmitted through multiple company machines, over cloud hosting, and stored in proprietary servers either locally or again on the cloud. Business software suites rule the day, often adding more network calls as they self-maintain and contact central data stores to keep all employees on track and supplied with the information they need to function and this is all without considering if a company is also providing online services to their customer we as well. With this overwhelming use of networking between company computers, clients, and the cloud, it’s no wonder more and more businesses are turning to outsourced help to manage their IT infrastructure and monitor their network activity. If you haven’t hired a crack team of IT experts to keep a watchful eye on your business network, here are five great reasons to consider doing so.

1 Ensuring Steady Service to Your Customers

Monitoring services are there to tell you when things are about to go sideways with enough of a head-start to prevent the oncoming disaster. You may be one of the thousands of companies that provide online services to customers that should not be interrupted under any circumstances. Many Saas companies provide real-time data, dashboards, and support that must be available when customers need them and some companies even serve medical providers and patients as part of an active health plan. If a server dies or a network connection goes down at the wrong moment, customers will not only be unhappy, they could be terribly disadvantaged and even lose money from their own businesses or the ability to interact with vital services as a result of the interruption.

Making sure the vital connection between your company and clients stays online is one of the things that a managed IT and monitoring as a service can provide for. If something is about to go wrong, your outsourced technicians can send you a timely message and help to redistribute resources to keep your services available without having to stack additional tasks onto your in-house techs if you have any.

2 Preventing Overload During High Traffic Hours

Most websites and services see cyclical visitation from their customers as log-in patterns match the requirements and opportunities of daily life. Companies with incredibly popular websites have to be aware of this ebb and flow pattern in order to prepare for their most high-traffic weekly hours. When many people all log into your website at once, this can create an overwhelming flood of activity on your network and has been known to overpower the available bandwidth and server resources.

While the extra business is good, young companies who experience a sudden increase in popularity have faced complete website failure when traffic exceeded their network capabilities. Managed IT and network monitoring services can help you both prepare your network for dangerously high traffic and offload resources at exactly the right time during these rush periods to keep your website up, running smoothly, and providing sales to your eager customers.

Managed IT services offers you a stability, constant maintenance, and optimization that break-fix IT simply can’t compare to. Of course, this is only the first half of our two-part article on the benefits of working with a managed service provide. Instead of just waiting for your computer system to eventually fail and then calling an expert, with managed IT your servers and infrastructure will be actively maintained, updated, curated, and load-balanced at all times Join us next time for the second half of this article where we’ll talk about optimization, detecting errors before they happen, and repairing any unavoidable or externally caused errors immediately. For more information about managed IT services, contact us today!

How to Take Care of IT Tasks That Can’t Be Individually Managed

IT business support Managed IT services concept

Business processes change rapidly are you staffed to handle these changes?

A lot of small businesses are using third-party services. Sometimes automated tools replace a lot of administrative tasks, which mean the employees can focus on sales or human-powered creative tasks. SaaS can even replace invoicing management, basic cybersecurity, and financial projections. But for the remaining tasks that need to be handled by people, it’s important to decide if your business benefits more from dedicated employees or a hired service. Here are two logistical reasons to hire out:

There are no legacy problems.

Even though the trend of staying with the same company for one’s whole career is fading away, most employees assume they’re going to be with the company for several years. While that can be a good thing because they’re not just running out the clock or making short-term decisions, it can cause a few problems in the IT department.

If your company is employee-based, people will make custom tweaks and idiosyncratic fixes because they think they’ll be around to explain them or fix what goes wrong. That means you can be left with a jumble of unsolvable problems when the employee leaves or you have to scale the network. But if your company uses a third-party service, everything is transparent and standardized with no hidden surprises if you ever change services or transform your infrastructure.

You can forecast expenses.

Managed IT services are very different from traditional IT support. Instead of paying to bring a technician in and solve immediate problems, a managed service is paid monthly to prevent problems in the first place. Not only does that help reduce downtime costs and cybersecurity risks, it’s a predictable expense. The better you can accurately forecast your annual budget, the more comfortably you can take risks into new markets.

You can take advantage of standardized IT procedures.

Small businesses involve a lot of self-management. If you’re self-employed on a team of one, you have to manage your own time, expenses, and output. With a small group, you can turn to each other for support and time management. But there are some tasks that can’t be left entirely manual, especially as your business grows. Make sure you have a managed IT service that can:

1. Automate malware and cybersecurity software updates.

Every week there’s another patch. Operating systems need to reboot to install updates. Your anti-virus program has a frequent pop-up asking you to update to the latest version. It can seem like a headache or an attempt to upsell you. But when it comes to computer and network security, keeping up with the latest versions of your programs is essential. Give the task to your IT service, which can ensure that all of your company’s devices are updated regularly. Individual employees might just delay updates or have the pop-ups turned off. Automating the system not only guarantees the best adherence to security, it can be scheduled for common downtimes.

2. Manage business technology during employee turnover.

If someone quits the employee or they’re let go, a lot of information can go with them. A lot of assets can, too. Look for a managed service that can remotely track down business technology so you can retrieve it as needed. You can also set up a system to remotely wipe or disconnect technology so you don’t have to worry about data leaks and potentially malicious users after the fact.

3. Solve problems before they’re problems.

Most outages don’t strike without a warning. The warnings are just rarely seen. But a managed IT service usually starts a contract by installing software that lets them remotely monitor your network for system slowdowns, peak use times on the network, and suspicious CPU draws. They can track down the warnings signs and strengthen your security or suggest network growth before disaster strikes.

Go to SystemsNet to find out more about what IT support services can do for your business.

Website Acting Sluggish? Server Monitoring Will Tell You Why (Part 2)

Businessman troubleshooting computer with server monitoring

Server monitoring is key to network performance

Welcome back to the second half of our fantastic two-part article on how to diagnose and repair website slowness with the help of a managed monitoring system. Last time talked about the importance of a snappy website and the difficulty in speeding up the website without clues. Let’s pick back up at clue gathering.

Troubleshooting with Server Monitoring

Server monitoring is a simple phrase with a big list of applications. There are all sorts of reasons to implement server monitoring from testing your own hand-written programs to watching for malware activity. The reason it’s so diversely useful is because with server monitoring, you can watch absolutely everything about the state of your server and what it’s up to. At the most basic level, it can tell you the temperature of the CPU and going over about 85 F on a regular basis can definitely slow you down (that’s what the cleaning was for).

Beyond that, server monitoring will track things like your CPU, memory, and disk usage which are all ways to tell how many resources are available to run your website and deliver it to viewers. CPU percentage indicates how many tasks your server can do at once, memory or “RAM” is like your computer’s immediate thinking power, and Disk usage will show you how full your hard drive is (if it’s full, things stop working). If any of these seem overtaxed or approach capacity during high-traffic times, your website is likely to slow down for all users as the server struggles to serve the data they’re requesting. Server monitoring not only shows you these stats, it can keep an eye on them as your traffic fluctuates and send you an alert if any go over a designated percentage.

Tracking Your Processes

With the basics covered, server monitoring can also take an in-depth look at the processes your server is running. If you want your website to have access to 100% of the server’s resources (you do), then it’s best to remove all unnecessary programs from the computer and stop all extraneous processes. Server monitoring can show you which processes you’re running and how much of your computer’s resources they’re eating with each cycle. Not only can you discover unnecessary resource-hungry processes you can close, it may also reveal certain processes from your site that might be consuming more than their fair share of resources. This could be a clue that it’s time to update your plugins or remove features you don’t need anymore.

Identifying Bandwidth Problems

There’s also the possibility that your sluggish website is a symptom of your bandwidth rather than the performance of the server itself. With a little monitoring, if you determine that there are more than enough resources and the server is plenty responsive with non-network tasks, the issue may lie with your internet provider, cables, or network configuration instead. First, check your network settings to be sure you’re not artificially bottle-necking yourself by accident. If that’s not the case and your server is a local machine, ISPs have been known to throttle bandwidth of high-demand users, like those hosting a popular website, and you may need to buy a larger monthly package. For a cloud-hosted server, talk to your hosting provider about how you can increase your allotment of bandwidth, which will probably also result in buying a larger monthly package.

Server Monitoring as a Service

Finally, server monitoring is a wonderful tool, or rather set of tools, that allows you to keep an incredibly detailed eye on the performance of your website and the server it runs on, but it’s also incredibly complex. If you’re not personally excited by the idea of constantly checking on your computer’s temperature, resource usage, and networking speed but still want to keep your website optimized, consider hiring a professional service to monitor your server for you. They will help you determine where to set up alert points (ex: when the computer heats up over 90 F or uses over 80% of its resources) and can even help you optimize for better performance based on the information the monitoring provides.

No matter what kind of website you’re running or how many users you handle every day, you deserve the snappy page loading that only a well-optimized server can bring. With server monitoring and professional IT support, you should be able to quickly troubleshoot whether your sluggish page load is due to heat, unnecessary processes, or old platform plugins that could be updated and replaced. Whatever the cause, server monitoring will help you identify, optimize, and get your site up to speed in no time. For more great website and managed IT tips, contact us today!

Website Acting Sluggish? Server Monitoring Will Tell You Why (Part 1)

Man waiting on a slow running website at a desk on a laptop

Slow internet getting you down?

Whether you’re running an eCommerce venue, popular blogger, active business site, job board, charity platform or one of any number of popular websites with a ton of daily traffic, speed is everything. Even if you run a little mom-and-pop site for sharing recipes, the highly competitive modern online environment has no room for slow web pages. The slower your page loads, the more likely your visitors are to close the tab and try somewhere else that’s more responsive and considerate of their valuable internet browsing time. Even a one-second delay in page load statistically results in a loss of 7% of your visitors.
Speeding Up is Harder Than it Sounds
Of course, it’s a lot easier to say ‘speed up your web page’ than it is to actually do it. The reason for this is because your load time isn’t a value you set in your configuration, it’s how long your server takes to serve up the page to each user. There are certain things that anyone can do to reduce load time like use smaller images and chop up your content into multiple compact pages instead of big long ones, but what if you’ve already done that or your design relies on big pictures and long content-rich pages?
There are a few other things you or your web developer can do, but the potential fixes get more and more complex with each attempt at optimization. You can, for instance, set up caching so that your regular users hold onto some of the data your page loads up, making it locally available and faster to appear after the first visit. Then there’s compression which zips up and vacuum-shrinks your HTML and CSS files for faster downloads. When all this is done, if your website is still sluggish then the answer is lurking somewhere in the performance of the server itself, but where?
What’s Wrong With Your Hosting Server?
As you may remember from setting up your website, a site has to be hosted on a server, either locally on a computer you own or, ideally, on a virtual cloud server. If you’re hosting on a local server, it’s possible that your problem is actually physical. Take a moment in the middle of the night when you have the fewest visitors to turn off the machine and clean it. Chances are there’s a reasonable amount of built-up dust inside the case, caked to the vents, and just floating around. If your web page speeds up after this procedure, the problem was that the computer itself was struggling to cool itself and keep up with demand.
If you’re hosting on a cloud server, or if cleaning didn’t help, then the problem lies in the processes running on the server itself. The longer a server runs, and the more things you’ve done on it since setting it up, the more likely it is to have unnecessary processes and memory use eating up your resources and preventing your web page from getting the speed and performance it needs to impress your visitors.

Knowing that your website is slow is only the beginning of the solution and without the ability to monitor the slow down, it will be incredibly difficult to identify and cure the reason your website is running so slowly. This has been the first half of our two-part article. To find out what happens next and how to use monitoring to speed up your website, join us next time for the second half. If you’d like more information about IT managed services or to find the perfect solution for your business, contact us today!