FREE REPORT: 13 Little-Known Facts Every Business Owner Must Know About Data Backup, Security And Disaster Recovery

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1 FREE REPORT: 13 Little-Known Facts Every Business Owner Must Know About Data Backup, Security And Disaster Recovery Discover What Most IT Consultants Don t Know Or Won t Tell You About Backing Up Your Data And Recovering It After A Disaster By Randy Bankofier President, 24x7 I.T. Solutions, Inc. Phone:

2 A Letter From The Author: From The Desk of: Randy Bankofier President, 24x7 I.T. Solutions, Inc. Dear Colleague, Have you ever lost an hour of work on your computer? Now imagine if you lost days or weeks of work or imagine losing your client database, financial records, and all of the work files your company has ever produced or compiled. Imagine what would happen if your network went down for days and you couldn t access or the information on your PC. How devastating would that be? Or, what if a major storm, flood, or fire destroyed your office and all of your files? Or if a virus wiped out your server do you have an emergency recovery plan in place that you feel confident in? How quickly do you think you could recover, if at all? If you do not have good answers to the above questions or a rock-solid disaster recovery plan in place, you are quite literally playing Russian roulette with your business. With the number of threats constantly growing, it s not a matter of if you will have a problem, but rather a matter of when. And even though many people KNOW they should be backing up their data, we have found that most business owners are grossly misinformed about data backup and (more importantly) disaster recovery. That s why we created this report. We wanted to give CEOs and executives an informative, easy to read guide that would explain what they need to know about backups, security and business continuity (a $.50 word for keeping your business up and running). Just by asking for this report you are putting yourself far ahead most business owners who never get around to thinking about this issue until it s too late. For that, I congratulate you and hope that you find in this report the information and the encouragement that you need to put the proper systems in place now so you can sleep easier at night knowing you re prepared for the worst. Dedicated to serving you,

3 But That Could Never Happen To Me! (And Other Lies Business Owners Like To Believe About Their Businesses ) After working with over 400 small and mid-size businesses in the Portland area, we found that 71% of business owners we talk to do NOT have a reliable backup of their data and do NOT know how or what they would do in the event of a data-erasing disaster. They simply hope their backup is/was working and that it will save their bacon when disaster strikes. This hope approach is incredible when you consider how dependent businesses are on information be it client databases, accounting records, s, pictures, inventory, blueprints, and other work products almost ALL processes in a business rely on the availability of digital information. The cost of losing that information (or being without it for an extended period of time) is hard to accurately quantify since it affects so many aspects of a business. But we do know this: 93% of companies that lost their data for 10 days or more filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster, and 50% filed for bankruptcy immediately (Source: National Archives & Records Administration in Washington). Here are some other statistics about losing data: Did You Know That Tape drives fail at an average rate of 100%; that means ALL tape drives fail at some point and do NOT offer complete protection for your data if a natural disaster, water damage or fire destroys your office and everything in it. 20% of small to medium businesses will suffer a major disaster causing loss of critical data every 5 years. (Source: Richmond House Group) 40% of small to medium businesses that manage their own network and use the Internet for more than will have their network accessed by a hacker, and more than half won t even know they were attacked. (Source: Gartner Group) About 70% of business people have experienced (or will experience) data loss due to accidental deletion, disk or system failure, viruses, fire or some other disaster. (Source: Carbonite) The first reaction of employees who lose data is to try to recover it themselves by using recovery software or restarting or unplugging their computer steps that can make later data recovery impossible. (Source: Survey by Minneapolis-based Ontrack Data Recovery) But I Already Back Up My Data, You Say If you re smart, you have some type of backup system in place. That s good. HOWEVER, there s a HUGE difference in the quality and reliability of backup systems and services. Plus, data backup is only ONE aspect of what s REALLY important: disaster recovery, or your ability to RESTORE the data in a usable format quickly and painlessly. In this report I m going to give you a number of things you need to know about choosing a good backup solution, as well as what you need to know in order to choose the right company to set up and manage your backup.

4 Why You Need To Get Rid Of Your Tape Backup One of the most common forms of backup is tape drive backups. Yet most business owners don t know that the average failure rate for a tape backup is 100% ALL tape backups fail at some point in time. Incredible, isn t it? Most people spend their days dutifully swapping out tapes and taking them home day in and day out only to discover their data wasn t being backed up. But what s really dangerous is that most companies don t realize their tapes have failed until it s too late. That s why history is riddled with stories of companies losing millions of dollars worth of data. In almost every case, these businesses had a tape or external hard drive backup system in place, but were sickened to find out it wasn t working when they needed it most. Here are the top reasons why tape backups are a BAD idea: Tape drives are extremely unreliable for data backup. It s very common for a tape drive to malfunction without giving any warning signs whatsoever. In fact, many tapes will contain data, but won t allow you to retrieve that data. If your office (and everything in it) gets destroyed by a fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, or other natural disaster, your tapes or other external backup devices that are stored onsite will be destroyed as well. Tapes are highly susceptible to heat, moisture and dust; since most people transport tapes offsite in a purse or car, these elements destroy the tapes and the data on them. Side Note: Storing tapes in a fire-proof safe or filing cabinet will NOT keep them safe. These storage devices are designed to protect PAPER which has a very high heat tolerance and won t catch fire unless directly in contact with a flame. The heat from the fire will destroy the tapes and melt the plastic, which causes a double disaster since the tapes melt all over the papers in the safe. Human error: Someone in your office accidentally formats the tape, erasing everything on it, forgets to swap them out, forgets to take them home, goes on vacation or leaves permanently. Tapes are NOT secure. If any data is leaving your office, it needs to be secure and encrypted. This goes double if you re storing client information. Clients are very sensitive to their personal information being stolen, even if it s only addresses and purchase history. And if you re storing financial information, credit card numbers, medical records or other highly sensitive information, you re actually breaking the law by using unsecured tape to copy and transport this data offsite. All states have identity theft laws and the feds have the Red Flag Act, but if you live in Oregon, or similar States, you must be in compliance with the Oregon Identity Theft Protection Act which was passed into law by the Oregon legislature in The law requires you to protect your employees and customers private information. Since we are talking about backups, this means that when you transport your backups to an offsite location you need to encrypt and securely transfer this data then you need to encrypt and securely store this data. If you are currently storing some of your backups onsite, then you ll need to encrypt and secure these also. Check out

5 the State of Oregon s website at Checkout these sections on their website: Data Breach Notification Requirements, Sample Notification Letter. If these sections don t make you get worried or think twice, then you ve probably already got a great offsite backup solution in place. Here s a link to Oregon s law that states they can assess up to a $1,000 penalty per violation. Well, if you lost 200 of your customer or employees information, that s a penalty of up to $200,000. There are not too many small businesses that could sustain that penalty. Here s an article about three companies which were fined over $100,000 each, You can also download Oregon s informative business information guide at Here s a link to the State of Oregon s website that shows the responsible parties for enforcing the violations of the Oregon Identity Theft Protection Act, Enough said. I hope that for those of you that live in Oregon, or similar states, that this has been a real eye opener. In today s environment, it is critical for business owners to know that consumers, employees and even businesses are sick and tired of their personal information getting stolen. Backing Up To The Cloud: What It Means And Why EVERY Business Should Have It In Place One of the BEST ways to protect your data is to maintain an up-to-date copy in a high-security data center somewhere other than your office. In fact, it should be in another safe city at least 180 miles away from your office, and ideally one that is not susceptible to natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, tornados or earthquakes. The generic term people use to describe this type of backup is backing up to the cloud or cloud backups, which simply means that your data is hosted in a remote data center and accessed via the Internet. This type of backup is set to run automatically either after hours, when most people are not using their computer systems (1:00 a.m. for example), or continuously throughout the day whenever a file is changed or added. The data on a particular machine is copied and sent over the Internet to a highsecurity facility where it is stored. Because these backups are automated, you don t have to worry about someone forgetting to run the backup. As with anything, you get what you pay for, and there are some key quality differences in the type of backup service you choose. Pick the wrong one and you could end up paying a lot of money only to discover that recovering your data the very reason why you set up remote backups in the first place is not an easy, fast, or simple job.

6 13 Critical Characteristics To Demand From Your Backup Service And IT Company So what should you look for when choosing a company or service to backup and secure your data offsite? Who can you trust to not only keep your data safe, but also to be there when you need to recover it? Unfortunately, this is not an easy choice. There are literally hundreds of companies offering backup devices, software and services because they see it as an easy way to make a quick buck. As you would expect, not all service providers are created equal, and you want to make sure you choose a good, reliable vendor or you ll get burned by hidden fees, unexpected gotchas, difficult and slow recovery of your data or by the horrible discovery that your data wasn t even being backed up properly, leaving you high and dry when you need it most. Here are 13 things we recommend looking for: 1. Production-Grade, SAS 70 Data Center. One of the first things you need to ask your IT person is, Where will my data be stored? After all, we are talking about your financial information, client data, and other sensitive information about your company! What you DON T want is for them to keep your data at a rack in their office that is not designed to be a high-availability data center. A TRUE data center will be 100% dedicated to hosting data and should have: Redundant power sources and generators High-level, on-site building security Redundant Internet access SAS 70 certification The term SAS 70 (Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70) refers to an official document issued by the Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The AICPA sets out the auditing standards for data centers and issues this document to show that the data center is doing what they are promising in the areas of security and availability. 2. Bare metal imaging. This is important to ensure a quick restoration of your data and IT operations. A bare metal image is simply a snapshot of your server and all the data on it. That snapshot can then be copied to another server or virtualized (put on a server online), often within 1 hour. Without this type of backup, you would have to: Locate all your software disks and keys Re-install the operating system Re-install all applications Re-install the data Re-configure the settings This process could take anywhere from one to two days; even longer if you don t actually HAVE your software discs and keys. A bare metal image eliminates this delay. 3. The ability to recover data FAST. An EXTREMELY important question to ask is, If my server crashes beyond repair, how do we get our data back? You do NOT want Internet download to be

7 your only option for recovering data from the cloud because it could take days or weeks. At a minimum you should be able to get an overnight copy of your data on a physical disk or device but ideally you should have instant access to a bare metal image so that a new or makeshift server can be set up within an hour, allowing you to keep working (see above). 4. Continuous backup. Another feature to look for is ongoing or continuous backup versus a nightly backup. This allows you to restore a file that you worked all morning on and saved right before the server crashed in the late afternoon. 5. Multiple data centers that are geographically dispersed. Anyone versed in data security knows the best way to avoid loss is to build redundancy into your operations. All that means is that your remote backup service should store multiple copies of your data in more than one location. That way, if a terrorist attack, city-wide power outage or natural disaster destroys one of their locations, they have backups of your backup in a different city where the disaster did not strike. 6. The INITIAL backup should be to a local, physical device. Trying to transfer all the data online could take days (possible weeks) and cause your Internet connection and systems to drag. If you have a large amount of data to backup, ask your provider how the initial backup is created. 7. Make sure your data can be restored to a different computer than the one it was backed up from. Amazingly, some backups can only be restored to the same computer they came from. If the original computer was damaged in a fire, stolen, or destroyed in a flood, you re left without a backup. 8. The ability to virtualize your server. This is a fancy term for putting your server online so that you and your staff can work remotely if necessary. This option would be important if your building was destroyed or if your area was evacuated. 9. Automatically test the ability to virtualize your server each and every night. There are many competitive services in the market that do not do this. The reason it s so important is that as the backups are taken it creates a chain of backup images. All these must successfully be combined together again to create your server. If even one of these links in the chain become corrupt, then your entire backup is USELESS. Many of our competitors resell these products! See the next section, The Single Most Important Thing To Look For When Choosing a Remote Backup Service Provider for a possible manual work-around. Hey, it s better than nothing. 10. Demand a local spare server and backup. Most server crashes are due to hardware failure, not natural disasters. Therefore, you should have an onsite, local backup server as a failover device if your main server dies. This local server also makes it much easier to retrieve a file or folder than trying to pull it down from the Internet (see #3). 11. Demand daily status reports of your backup. All backup services should send you a daily e- mail to verify if your backup actually ran AND to report failures or problems. The more professional providers should also allow you to notify more than one person (like a technician or your IT person) in addition to yourself. 12. Demand LIVE monitoring by a qualified technician. Many online backup services are selfserve, which allows them to provide a cheaper service to you. BUT backups are not set it and

8 forget it processes so don t settle for an automated monitoring service. All too often problems happen with backups that require someone who knows what they re doing to investigate the problem and resolve it. Otherwise, you simply have an alarm system that no one responds to. Plus, if you need to recover your data, you want to be able to call and talk to someone who can help you, especially if it s a major disaster. If you re using a cheap online backup service or a company that doesn t offer live monitoring, you ll be stuck trying to recover your data on your own, wasting tons of time and possibly not being able to get back up and running for days. 13. Demand a written IT disaster recovery plan. This shows YOU that they have a plan in place for restoring your data and that they won t be scrambling to figure it out when disaster strikes. As the saying goes, by failing to plan you re planning to fail. A written report shows you that they have thought the process though and know what to do in the event of a disaster. The Single Most Important Thing To Look For When Choosing a Remote Backup Service Provider While the above checks are important, one of the most critical characteristics and one that is often overlooked is finding a company that will do regular test restores to check your backup and make sure the data is recoverable. You do not want to wait until your data has been wiped out to test your backup, yet that is exactly what most people do, and they pay for it dearly. If your data is very sensitive and you cannot afford to lose it, then weekly restores should be done. If your situation is a little less critical, then monthly or quarterly test restores are sufficient. Any number of things can cause your backup to become corrupt. By running a test restore, you ll sleep a lot easier at night knowing you have a good, solid copy of your data available in the event of an unforeseen disaster or emergency.

9 Want To Know For Sure If Your Data Backup Is Truly Keeping Your Data Secure? Our Free Data Backup And Security Audit Will Reveal The Truth If you are worried about whether or not your current backup and security processes are up to par, I d like to give you a Free Data Security Audit ($375 value) as a means for introducing our services to you. Why do we do this? Simply because I know how confusing and difficult it can be to find a good IT support company that is responsive, easy to work with and actually knows what they re doing. Just about anyone can say they are an IT expert. And since most business owners don t have the ability to evaluate whether or not their IT Company or person is doing a good job, we find that offering this free service is a great, no-risk way of demonstrating how we can help you. At the very least, you ll get a free, 3 rd party evaluation of your current backup, which is extremely valuable even if you don t choose to hire us. At no charge, one of our security specialists will come on site and Audit your current data security and protection, including backup and restore procedures, tape drives or other onsite backup devices to validate if all of your data is actually being backed up in a format that could quickly be restored. (We often discover data on drives, laptops or PCs that is overlooked.) Present a simple and easy to understand chart that will detail the makeup of your data, including the age and type of files you are backing up. Why should you care? Because many companies inadvertently use valuable computer storage to back up their employees personal MP3 files and movies. Discuss how long it would take you to be back up and running in the event of an emergency or server crash based on your current system. Answer any questions you have about backing up and securing your data. We re also happy to put together two or three options for backup and security based on your specific needs and budget. We know everyone has a different level of risk tolerance, and we want to make sure all the risks you re taking with your data are by choice not because of miscommunication or accident. Depending on what we discover, we ll either give you a clean bill of health or reveal gaps in your data backup that could prove disastrous. If it s appropriate, we ll provide you with an action plan for further securing your data with our BDR Servers and Cloud Services. Naturally, I don t expect everyone to become a client; you won t be pressured into buying anything or driven nuts by a pushy, desperate sales guy. Of course we d love to have you as a client, but our primary goals are to provide value in advance, to educate you and other business owners and to provide smart, affordable options for making sure your business doesn t lose critical data.

10 But I Don t Need A Backup And Security Audit Because My IT Guy Has It Covered Maybe you don t feel as though you have an urgent problem that needs to be fixed immediately. Maybe you think your data is perfectly safe. Many of our current clients felt that their data was safe until it became necessary for them to RESTORE THEIR DATA. Unfortunately, that is when most companies test their data backup and restore solution. We are helping companies like yours AVOID embarrassing and extremely costly data catastrophes like these: The President of an association thought their data was being backed up safe and sound every night and he wasn t interested in looking at any other form of backup solutions. He shared with us that he had an IT guy who was responsible for maintaining the backup and had spent thousands of dollars on a highly sophisticated tape system and software. Of course, the day came when the server crashed suddenly and could not be rebooted. Fast forward three weeks, $62,000 and a BRAND NEW IT PERSON later, they restored the data to as close to before failure as possible (much of the data was lost forever). The President of this association (who understandably asked to remain anonymous) told us the worst part of the whole experience was the frustration of spending a lot of money to avoid this type of disaster, only to discover that the systems and solution you have in place only APPEARED to be working, when in fact they never were. Here is another Another client of ours learned their lesson the hard way, which is all too often the case. The tape backup appeared to be working, but when he needed it most, it failed to restore. They had to recreate almost a month s worth of data because the tape failed. In the Director of IT s own words, I had my bags packed and was ready to be shown the door. The only reason I have my job today is because I proved to my boss that all indications were the data was being backed up. All the logs and reports noted that the backups and verifications were completed without errors. The tape just didn t work. Here is another A temporary client of ours was a large property management firm with over 50 employees. They learned the hard way to not exactly trust what their internal IT guy was telling them. This IT guy probably meant well using Carbonite to backup there two servers. Hey, it was costing the company just a few bucks a month, Who would complain about that? Especially since each month they had to pay the IT guy s modest salary. (Here s a little secret: If you currently employ a fulltime IT guy, I ve got great news for you! Move onto our cloud computing platform and we ll provide you brand new servers, cloud access devices, Microsoft Office and other software licensing and all your IT support for less than what you paying for your IT guy s salary & benefits. See my contact info at the end if you re interested.) Well, it just so happens that both

11 company servers crashed at the same time due to electrical power surges and the IT guy learned his lesson the hard way, which is all too often the case. To copy their backups over the Internet from Carbonite would take over 2.5 weeks! Not only that, Carbonite would not even copy the data on a hard drive and overnight it. The President s own words, We literally were out of business. I had over 50 employees that could not function. My life was flashing before my eyes. I walked through our offices and employees were just visiting, taking calls from upset customers and most were surfing the Internet. I heard some joking around, which just pissed me off. I could not even right a check because our entire accounting and check writing systems were computerized. I was loosing thousands by the hour. I m pleased to say that 24x7 I.T. Solutions received the emergency call on a Thursday afternoon. We had never worked for this company before so after we assessed the situation, the damages, and the options our engineers worked non-stop and diligently to repair the two servers and use special recovery software to get the property management s system back up and running by that Monday. How To Request Your Data Backup And Security Audit To request this, simply do one of the following: 1. Call our office at and ask to speak to a customer service agent. 2. Send us an to A ticket will automatically be created in our system and a customer service agent will contact you shortly. 3. Call me at x100 and I d be happy to assist! As soon as we receive your request, we ll call to schedule a convenient time for us to meet with you and to conduct the audit of your backup system. Again, you are under no obligation to do or buy anything. Even if you choose not to hire us for any additional work, you ll at least get a free, 3 rd party evaluation of your company s data backup and security.

12 Why Trust Us? There are a lot of companies offering remote backup services, so what makes us so special? Why choose us over the dozens of other companies offering what appear to be the same services? I m glad you asked because there are 6 BIG reasons to trust us with your data security: High-Availability, High Security Data Center. This means your data is locked down tight, protected from even the worst natural disasters fire, flood and theft. 365 Days A Year Monitoring. We believe data backups need to be monitored and checked by a qualified technician not an automated machine. When you trust your backups and security to us, we make SURE these systems are well maintained and monitored. Fast-Restore Guarantee. We guarantee that we can get your server back up and running again within 2 hours or less. If we can t, we ll refund half a year s service fees. Most remote backup services try to promote money-back guarantees, but if you read the small print, they only refund one month of service fees. We re willing to put our money where our mouth is and give you back a half year s service fees if we fail to make your data available. Free Help Desk For File Restores. Need help in restoring a file you accidentally deleted or over wrote? Call our help desk and we ll restore it back to you. Some companies charge you extra for this service, or don t offer it at all. Regular Test Restores And Daily Reporting. We insist that all clients receive [weekly/monthly] test restores of their backups to ensure they are working. We also send all of our clients a daily that verifies that their backups ran without errors. Of course if they don t, we re on it immediately. We re Local! We often joke that clients like to have a vendor within choking distance. Not only are we local with offices in [city] that you can visit, but we ve also been serving small and medium businesses in this area for over 11 years. We ll come on site, shake your hand, and buy you a cup of coffee. Wouldn t you rather deal with a local company that can meet with you face to face rather than an unknown entity in a different state or different country? Onsite BDR Server. We include a separate physical BDR Server (i.e. Backup Disaster Recovery Server) that is installed at your location and backs up your data. Backups Every 15 Minutes. Our BDR Server backs up your data every 15 minutes throughout your work day without interrupting or hindering your employees. Two Backups of Your Data. Our BDR Server retains 2 backup copies of your data; one local and one remote. Virtualizes Your Server(s). In the event that your server is down, our BDR Server acts as a live replica of your server, therefore you experience very little downtime.

13 Un-virtualizes Your Server(s). Once your server is recovered from a crash, our BDR Server is able to quickly move any updated data back onto your repaired server. Copy To Offsite Data Center during Off hours. Each night (or whenever is most appropriate), our BDR Server uploads all your data that changed for the day over the Internet in a secure manner to a secure offsite data center facility. This way if your building burns down or a thief or disgruntled employee walks out the door with your server housing your precious data, you still have the most current copy of it. Nightly Virtualization Testing. Each night our BDR server tests itself and the daily backups it made that day to make sure it can act as a live replica of your server if your server crashes. Overnight All Your Data On A Hard Drive. Our offsite data center facility is able to overnight your data on an external hard drive to a location you choose in case of a true disaster. Run Your Server In The Cloud. Our offsite data center facility is able to use your server backups to create a replica of your server to run live in our facility and let you and your employees access it in the event of major disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Virtual Lab. Have you ever had your computer guy install the latest version of your critical business application that all your employees use everyday and nothing worked as planned? Then everybody was waiting around for your IT guy to get hold of your software vendor to find out how to fix it? Well, we are able to perform test installations and migrations of your applications and data so we can test everything in a virtual lab environment. This way everything can be tested without affecting your employees and costing you money and downtime. Upgrades, Patches, Fixes. Our BDR Server is monitored 24x7 and any upgrades, patches or fixes are included in the plan so you re not nickel and dimed. Most our competitors charge for this.

14 But Don t Take Our Word for It Just Look What Our Clients Have to Say Within two hours we were back up and running! By having 24x7 I.T. Solutions maintain our network we have experienced a cost reduction in computer support expenses by 67%. Before we went with 24x7, the service we received from our past computer support company was spotty and non-existent at best. If we had a problem, we couldn t get anything done for about a day. This just killed our business and productivity. Now with 24x7 I.T. Solutions maintenance service and support they keep our servers and pc s up and running, it doesn t disrupt us and actually I don t even think about it or know that it s happening. They just keep everything running and we haven t experienced any downtime for years. There was one time years ago when we were running an older server and it crashed. Within two hours they had assessed the problem and setup a temporary server on the network with our data so we could continue to work while they ordered parts for the old server. - Bruce Weaver, General Manager, Columbia Rubber Mills Monday morning I walked in and all our computers were gone. Years back, we had a horrible experience when someone broke in and stole all our computers and our server. From the time we placed that emergency call to 24x7 I.T. Solutions to the time everything was back up and running was one week. This was no small task and I think one week, with no notice, to totally replace our entire network and get all our applications and data running again was fast. They even helped us set up some temporary systems to get us by in the mean time. Before we went with 24x7 our computer support and network was real hap hazard because it was just me trying to do it whenever I had the time. But now, 24x7 s monitoring and maintenance service really helps me because I really don t have to worry about the server or the network. I know their guys are looking over my shoulder and checking things out and giving me a heads up when there s problems. Its great not having to deal with all this because I m so busy running the business. I d say the biggest benefit I ve experienced since hiring 24x7 is that they free up my time and give me time to focus on what I need to do. 24x7 s engineers use written procedures and they are so professional that I don t have to worry about what they re doing. 24x7 has been supporting our computer network since 2004 and we ve never had problem one and that s a big relief for me. - Norm Schoening, Operations Manager, River City Industries

15 We had a critical server issue and 24x7 got to our data center at 8pm at night to get us back up and running... Our IT used to be basically just muddling along with our bailing wire and bubble gum stuff. Early on, 24x7 I.T. Solutions did some substantial projects for us; installing several servers, multiple locations, systems and collaboration solutions for us. They helped us get an IT infrastructure in place that was adequate for our needs which was useful and productive for us. We have a lot of remote workers and 24x7 did a great job installing and support systems that would help us collaborate together. 24x7 s network monitoring and maintenance service has allowed me to not have to think about it so I can focus on running my business. If something goes wrong, it s an automatic thing and 24x7 is aware of it and I particularly like that I don t have to keep track of the security updates for our operating systems or the firewalls. It s something I just know that someone else is watching out for. The 24x7 helpdesk has been a great benefit for us in the past; although I have to say knock on wood we haven t had to use it for some time which is maybe a testament to the preventative maintenance they do. When I used it in the past, the responses have been prompt. I know a couple of 24x7 s other customers and they ve had to use it more and more recently and what I heard from them is that they ve been real pleased with the responsiveness they received as well. Anytime I ve had a question on pricing or invoicing, 24x7 s office staff has always been extremely prompt in responding and get s it straightened right away. There s no waiting or back and forth. From an office and accounting perspective, 24x7 s been great to work with. There was one time, I know a 24x7 engineer had to go out to our data center at 8 o clock at night to fix something on our exchange server that he couldn t do remotely there was no question he just did it took care of it then made sure to follow up with me to let me know it was fixed. The times we ve had emergencies, 24x7 has been very prompt. There was a time when we had a hardware problem, and 24x7 s engineer made sure he was on the phone with Dell getting it resolved, getting a part here within the 4 hour window from our support contract making sure it was installed correctly and letting me know it was fixed it s done.. and he d keep an eye on it. Since 2006, the few times we ve had these emergencies, 24x7 s engineers have stepped up and no questions asked taken care of us. If someone was on the fence deciding whether to choose 24x7, I d say they ll come in, they will assess, first of all, what your needs and desires are, they ll also assess where you are currently, then provide you a roadmap to get there and be there to support you along the way with implementation and if something goes wrong, fixing it and that type of thing. I know from my own personal experience, they have our needs covered. - Dave Loverink, Owner, Mesh Communications Group

16 24x7 helped us save over half a million dollars over 3 years! When we first met 24x7 I.T. Solutions we still had a fulltime in-house IT person and we were experiencing all kinds of Microsoft Exchange issues. Our system was giving us constant problems. 24x7 s engineer came in and immediately got our system back up and running and then implemented 24x7 s spam solution to help protect us from the over 10,000 spam messages we were getting every day. We are an international company and our employees are all over the world, located in Japan, New York, Portland, Chicago, Florida, Ohio, United Kingdom and Sweden. When we decided to shut down offices and take our company completely virtual, we were looking for something more cost effective and needed somebody that could help us with that virtual environment. We moved onto 24x7 s cloud platform back in 2007 and its allowed us to reduce our IT personnel, close offices, and either retire or move IT resources onto 24x7 s cloud platform. We are now saving over $150,000 per year and if you add the savings of not having to purchase new equipment and software every 3 to 4 years it s been even more. A savings of a half million dollars every 3 yrs! You know what the best part about 24x7 is? I don t even know they are there, they are doing their job, taking care of equipment, and when somebody on my end needs to access data or send an it just works. The nice part for me is knowing that they just make it work. The fact that I don t have to think about what s going on behind the scenes is a good thing. - Mike Coelho, Controller, jbase International Our million dollar patents are 100% secure and encrypted Back in May of 2008 we came in with our Spec Sheet of needs and desires to 24x7 I.T. Solutions. We do a lot of scientific research and develop patents that could be worth millions of dollars. This data must be totally secure, kept offsite and backed up. We also need to allow multiple authorized users to remotely access from anywhere, anytime; our executives do a lot of international traveling and didn t want to be chained to their laptops and computers by always having to take them with them; and our employees needed to work remotely and access and share information. We immediately saw the value in the Cloud Solution that 24x7 proposed. With the cloud solution we have through 24x7, we have never ever had a single security issue period. We ve had desktops and laptops crash, normally all that data would be lost or potentially lost if we didn t have what we have. With 24x7 s Cloud Solution, we can loose our laptops and we don t loose our files or we can get them stolen and our data and software can t be reached. Connectivity is not an issue nowadays by having multiple connections to the Internet with failover, we re always connected. Heck, today you can always get a connection we can be in

17 East Egypt and find a Starbucks and get a connection. Of all the potential solutions we ve looked at and researched, 24x7 s cloud solution was the best solution and it was the best most competitively priced. The 24x7 helpdesk is incredibly important to us, but the more important question is have we used it and does it work? And the answer is yes it does work. A lot of times, other companies try the Bangalore helpdesk solution from India, but you got to try it and use it to see if it s really there for you. With 24x7 s local helpdesk, it s there for us. Response time is pretty instantaneous, most the time it s within 5 to 10 minutes, but after hours or on weekends it might run 30 to 45 minutes before someone is working on our issue. Their engineers just jump right on it. - Robert Hansen, CEO, Fused Armor, Inc.

18 A Final Word I hope you have found this guide helpful in shedding some light on backing up your data and making sure you could recover quickly in the event of a disaster. Clearly this is not a matter to be taken lightly, yet most business owners are so busy they don t think about it UNTIL a disaster happens. As I stated in the opening of this report, my purpose in providing this information is to help you make an informed decision and avoid getting burned by the many incompetent firms offering these services. Even if you feel everything is okay and that your current backup system is solid, I would encourage you to take me up on the offer of a Free Data Backup and Security Audit. This audit is, of course, provided for free with no obligations and no expectations on our part. I want to be clear that this is NOT a bait and switch offer or a trick to get you to buy something. My reputation for running an honest and trustworthy business is something I hold very dear. I would never jeopardize that in any way. So please, take a moment now to give me a call. You ll be very glad you did. At your service, Randy Bankofier President, 24x7 I.T. Solutions, Inc. Ph: x100

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