As more and more companies shift over to the cloud, exponential cost savings become a natural result of doing business. Even during natural disasters, companies who opt to remain status quo and stay on with their existing computer staff and current disaster recovery plans might not be playing it as safe as they think.
Not changing can become expensive. Your IT costs can quickly ramp up including continuous maintenance and high fees for equipment and software upgrades. Talk about continuous; let’s add constant payouts for unused server space, prolonged use of overbooked IT staff, and neglected disaster recovery plans.
Had Enough Already?
Everyone reaches a point where doing nothing about IT issues, or doing nothing different, has taken its toll. As an executive, or even as a business owner, you’re likely looking for new ways to do business efficiently and effectively, and as affordable as possible.
Honing in on your IT needs and thinking of upgrades or changes is better than doing nothing, but taking it a step further can save on operating expenses. Maybe IT changes are something you should’ve done a long time ago. We know. Change doesn’t come easy.
But there’s a reason that so many businesses are shifting to the cloud. It’s more convenient; it costs less in overall IT expenses; and it can be more secure (yes, you heard that right), including disaster recovery.
We could go on and on about the advantages of using the cloud, but for now, let’s take a look at some of the obvious ways moving to the cloud will end up saving you big money.
The Convenience of the Cloud = Cost Savings
For starters, the cloud brings all of your data together: data is stored in one place. If money is time, and we all know it is, then the cloud is the way to go. Information you’re using is easily shared among all authorized devices and accounts. This negates the practice of switching from your work PC to your home computer, or stalling your work because you left some data here, and some data there.
If you’ve hired telecommuters, or even when you and your full-time employees must work at home, ample cloud bandwidth translates to extra megabytes for large-sized files such as email attachments.
No more waiting for large file transfers, or outright failures to send and receive emails since the hosted cloud is almost always more robust than what is run in-house, and there’s no need to depend on other users’ PC or laptop capabilities.
The Cloud Saves IT Money
The cloud can save you money not only in overall IT expenses, but by satisfying IT needs by using specific and immediate solutions. We’ve worked hard to hire (and retain) talented certified IT professionals and engineers. So instead of one or two employees comprising an IT department, or a lone (and lonely), overworked IT contractor, our professionals are all under one roof. Here our customers are able to experience working with designated IT staff who easily collaborate with one another for the fastest solutions. You are not kept waiting (and waiting...) during critical work points where you need help fast.
Another thing about Steadfast is that we’re simply not interested in selling you unnecessary and complicated IT products; we're looking to build long term relationships. We know what businesses generally need because we’ve been designing enterprise IT packages for 15 years, but we’re aware that every business, including yours, is unique.
Customers can pay as they go for our Steadfast cloud, which will all but help you eliminate IT capital expenditures and it’ll offer you marginal project start-up costs. From a mere $12.50 per month for a Steadfast-hosted cloud you’ll find it difficult not to realize immediate cost savings. Look here and take action to avert high IT costs. Stop doing nothing.
Disaster Recovery Plan: Don’t Scramble
No one can fully predict when a disaster might occur, but the last thing you want to be doing during a disaster recovery process is scrambling to be sure that all your drives are still working and that your most recent data recovery plan is in sync with your most specific data retrieval needs. We’ve designed Steadfast’s Disaster Recovery services so that they offer continuity and growth with our in-the-cloud Disaster Recovery solutions which are fluid, yet solid.
Securely building on our protective data retrieval design, Steadfast can provide extra recovery space for your existing data as well as your new and equally important data. During your backups, we enlist multiple gigabit Ethernet ports that do not interfere with your usual rhythm and pace of work.
Or, you can opt for custom-built data recoverywhere we follow your lead with options such as SAN/NAS and database replication, virtualization failover, disaster plan assessments and quality testing, among other solid features.
Above all, a Disaster Recovery Plan, as important as it is, shouldn’t break your bank by paying for costly hardware and software backup that is only as good as your last plan of action. But not having an essential recovery plan has the potential to break your bank. We can get on it for you, and fast.
Find out more about Steadfast’s Complete Disaster Recovery Services here.
It’s a decision that every company, CIO, and entrepreneur faces: where to host all that data. In a world where we rely on computing for everything we do, we want… no… we need our data to be hosted in an environment that is safe, secure, easily accessible, and at a relatively low cost. With the endless amount of data we’re pumping out on a daily basis, we also need somewhere that can handle it all.
Today, there are two major options for hosting: on the cloud or with a dedicated server. What’s the difference? Which one is better? That’s why we’re here – to explain both options and help you determine what’s right for you.
The cloud – that mysterious place where Apple and Google send all your information – is actually a virtual real-time environment that is hosted by multiple connected servers all at once. It’s a relatively new concept, but it’s spreading like wild fire and changing the way we think about data storage.
Cloud hosting has many advantages, which is why it has become so popular. It’s extremely reliable, because even if one of the connected servers goes down, the other servers will maintain hosting. Because the cloud is run on multiple servers, you can easily add more servers enabling seemingly endless scalability. Cloud hosting is essentially synonymous with the Internet (to most people, it’s the same thing), so like the Internet you can access your data from anywhere in the world. All this at a relatively low cost too, which is typically pay per usage. While some companies may have concerns over security, cloud hosting firms help companies overcome this by offering dedicated IT support and establishing strict controls.
Rather than store your data in some unknown virtual environment, many companies choose to use their own dedicated servers. A dedicated server is exactly how it sounds – a server that someone buys or leases to manage all the data. It’s kind of like using your personal computer, but on a much grander scale. This is the most traditional route for hosting.
Dedicated servers have plenty of advantages. They are much safer and offer better performance because the connections are direct. They also offer full control of your data management. When you run of out of storage space, you simply need to get an additional server to handle the new load. Of course, servers aren’t perfect and do occasionally go down, but a quick fix can bring all your data back to normal.
What’s Right For You?
When it comes to hosting, the biggest difference between cloud and dedicated server lies in the security and accessibility. Some people might say the cost matters, but when it comes to hosting your all-important data, cost should not be an inhibitor. It’s more important to get the right service.
If your company manages highly sensitive data – for instance, financial data or personal identity information – then dedicated servers are the way to go. They may cost more in the long run compared to the cloud, but as the saying goes, “you can’t put a price on security”, especially when that security is for vital personal information.
For all other companies, cloud hosting is the way to go. Your data will be accessible around the clock and from anywhere in the world, so you can keep your business running like clockwork. The cloud can quickly keep up with your company’s growth and you only pay for the hosting you need.
Steadfast is excited to introduce our very first customer of the month! We would like to congratulate Orbit Media, located in Chicago, for being chosen to be the first to spotlight.
Orbit Media Studios is a 35-employee run web development company. Despite the size of this company, Orbit Media Studio has landed some pretty big wins over the years. In 2013 they were awarded the Inc. 5000 award for their impressive 3-year sales growth of over 91%. They were also awarded Fortune Magazine's 2013 Inner City 100 award for their innovative business practices that continue to improve employment rates in urban communities.
This web development company creates between 70 and 80 websites per year on average, so it was of the utmost importance that they had the comfort of using highly reliable servers that had virtually no downtime. For this reason, they chose to partner up with us here at Steadfast.
Orbit Media Studio provides a variety of services each day, and in order to continue in this capacity, they needed to utilize web-hosting servers that could run the LAMP stack solution. We listened to their needs, understood their goals and provided the best possible solution to lead them in the right direction.
When asked why Orbit Media Studio chose to go with Steadfast as a server provider, here's what they had to say:
"At Orbit we have to be available for a variety of different options. Steadfast gives us the flexibility to do that...When you're working at a web developing company, having a hosting provider that can not only respond to you...having that technical expertise kind of gives you the comfort to know that the person on the other end knows what they're doing..." - Frederic Mitchell / Web Development Manager -Orbit Media Studio
We work closely with Orbit to help them continue offering their clients the kind of flexibility they've come to know and expect -- with the added bonus of room to grow. By working directly with Orbit Media Studio, we are able to host while they manage, giving them full accountability of the sites.
In May 2012, Chicago was hosting the NATO conference, which normally takes place in Washington, D.C. Due to their impeccable track record, Orbit Media Studio was awarded the opportunity to develop the website for the conference. It was to hold important details such as schedules, directions and speaker names. It was also to hold useful information about sights of interest, lodging, transportation and dining spots in the area for visitors. This was a very large task, that could damage Orbit's reputation if they ran into any unforeseen snags. Also, due to the influential list of speakers and their political stances, the event participant websites, including the Chicago police, were the target of hackers.
"We were worried about taking this on until we talked to Steadfast and realized, 'No they are totally ready to accept the biggest challenges and succeed at that level'." - Any Crestodina / Strategic Director - Orbit Media Studio
Orbit was worried about the prospect of being hacked, but we worked together with them to ensure that all of their computing need were met, which included unexpected traffic.
Due to their excellent working relationship with us here at Steadfast, and the services they continue to provide to the community, we had to name them customer of the month. We wish them success in each and every endeavor, and look forward to continually providing excellent service to them.
To be our next Customer of the Month please fill out this simple form.
The cloud offers an unprecedented opportunity for small and large businesses alike to access professional computing services cheaper and more efficiently than ever before. The financial services industry has long been skeptical about security issues with cloud-based services, but more companies are expected to reverse their stance in the near future.
Financial services businesses face many challenges when transitioning to cloud services. According to a recent survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers on attitudes toward the cloud, data security was the most pressing concern of financial services executives who plan to outsource IT to the cloud. Over 60% of those surveyed said that they saw data and system security as a very serious risk; nearly 40% said that service-level agreements (SLA) are equally risky; about 40% said so for IT governance; and more than 40% said the same for data and systems integration.
The cloud is unexplored territory to many, and financial services businesses are right to be wary with all the options out there. The privacy of user data is paramount, and a security breech can be extremely costly and destroy a company's reputation. SLA's are important because they ensure that the service will be active and working on agreed-upon times. Without this assurance - as well as the ability to integrate with new data and systems - there is no hope for business continuity.
Financial services companies need to keep up with strict regulations, making IT governance a concern because traditional protocols have to be updated to handle the cloud. Without these standards in place, there is no place for professional financial services on the cloud. Another major concern for cloud-hosted services is the presence or lack of a contingency plan - the backup for when things go wrong.
Steadfast is a Guiding Light in the Cloud for Financial Services Businesses
Thankfully, cloud computing hosts have seen these needs and responded to them. Steadfast is a comprehensive cloud-based IT data center services company, providing low-latency access to public, private (personal), and hybrid cloud environments for financial services businesses.
Steadfast employs security experts and offers a wide selection of protection services, such as managed firewalls, an intrusion detection system, vulnerability scanning, and log management. Security/compliance consulting is offered as well, helping you navigate the complexity of compliance regulations and setting you up with the correct services to meet their requirements. The Security Operations Center is SSAE16-certified to meet with compliance demands.
A 100% uptime SLA means that your services will always be available when you need them, guaranteed. The Steadfast data services are specifically configured for low latency and high availability, and are backed up by both battery (UPS) and generator. With no power outages, there is no cause for concern about losing data in such an event.
Steadfast provides a fully-equipped suite of tools for financial services businesses, enabling them to make the transition to cloud services with the help of competent and experienced professionals.
Now in its 29th year, the Futures Industry Association (FIA) Expo is the place where professionals in and around the listed derivatives market meet – and Steadfast will be there, standing tall amongst the crowd. The expo this year runs from November 6 -7, with an open reception on November 5, and will take place inside the Chicago Hilton. The Expo features events that will help attendees understand the market, but there are also plenty of fun activities to take part in during off hours.
Over 130 exhibitors will be attending the 2013 FIA Expo, including Steadfast. Each and every one of them will be presenting the newest and best technology when it comes to helping businesses navigate and operate in the listed derivatives market. The 2013 Expo spans two whole days allowing attendees to experience everything there is to do and see at the event.
There will be plenty of interesting and informative speeches given at this year's expo. Some of the most successful traders in the business have been booked to speak. Among them is famed author and journalist George Will, who is scheduled to speak and will give an outsider's view from someone who understands remarkably well how the markets work.
Attendees will be overwhelmed and impressed by the vast amount of exhibitions and booths this year. In addition, one of the best things about this particular Expo is the built-in "networking time" when exhibitions are temporarily shut down to allow attendees and exhibitors more time to get to know each other.
The festivities end with the Great Chicago Steak Out Charity dinner on November 7. This unofficial closing ceremony has been part of the expo since 2008 and has raked in more than $1.7 million for the Greater Chicago Food Depository since its inception.
While the dinner is a great conclusion to the event, the Expo itself is a great way for professionals to meet one another and discuss their work. There are all kinds of different ways in which people can network and exchange ideas. Events are set up throughout the Expo as a way for attendees to network, obtain the latest information, and learn from each other. For more information about the Expo, visit http://www.futuresindustry.org/expo-2013.asp.
Meet Steadfast – Booth 1004 – Blue Hall
Steadfast will be hosting a booth throughout the 2013 FIA Expo at the Blue Hall, Booth 1004. Steadfast specializes in comprehensive financial IT and telecommunication services focused on low latency and high reliability. Our state-of-the-art data centers are operated near major financial exchanges, making them ideal for proximity and managed colocation, as well as network and server monitoring services.
Visit the Steadfast booth each day of the Expo and earn a chance to win Bulls or Hawks tickets.